Medicare Hot Topics

Are you 64? It’s time to think about Medicare…

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 SHIP Customer Service Update
  The State Health Insurance Assistance Program has a new phone number  301-255-4250 

 If you have turned 64 and are approaching age 65, now is the time to start doing research into your health insurance options so you’ll be ready when you become  eligible for Medicare!

Medicare is complicated! When you enroll in Medicare, Medicare supplement insurance, Medicare Advantage and a Medicare prescription drug plan, you are making decisions that affect your coverage and your costs for the rest of your life. It is crucial that you pay attention to the deadlines and options!

The first thing you should do is attend one of our New to Medicare Seminars. In these seminars, we provide an introduction to the Medicare A, B, C, and D’s.

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Posted in SHIP Announcements

Medicare Annual Open Enrollment

During Medicare’s Annual Open Enrollment Medicare beneficiaries may join, dis-enroll or change their Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.  SHIP can help Montgomery County residents select a new Prescription Drug Plan for 2017.  The first step is to complete the 2017 Prescription Drug Worksheet.

• The 2017 Prescription Drug Worksheet can be download from this website and it will be distributed to many county senior centers and county libraries. All prescription drug worksheets will be evaluated and a written recommendation will be sent by mail. Anyone requesting a prescription drug recommendation must completely fill out the Prescription Drug Worksheet.  All 2017 Prescription Drug Worksheets must be post marked by Saturday November 21, 2016.

What changes can I make during the Annual Enrollment Period?

• People enrolled in Medicare Part A and or Part B may join, disenroll or change Part D – Prescription Drug Coverage for 2017.

• People enrolled in Medicare Parts A and Part B may join, disenroll or change Medicare Advantage Plans – MA Plans. MA plans may offer Prescription Drug Coverage.

• Effective date of the newly elected Medicare Part D – Prescription Drug Plan and Medicare Advantage Plan will be January 1, 2017.

Note: There is no open season to change Medigap/Medicare Supplement Plans after the first 6 months you are enrolled in Part B of Medicare. If you apply for Medigap/Medicare Supplement Plan after your open enrollment period there is no guarantee that an insurance company will sell you a policy if you do not meet the medical underwriting requirements.

Important Issues to Consider

• Prescription Drug Plan have premiums, deductibles, co-payments , formularies (lists of drugs they cover) and associations with specific pharmacies which may change every year and do affect your annual cost.

• The Montgomery County SHIP program, as part of our services, will do a comparison of your drugs and recommend the best/least expensive Rx Part D plan for you for 2016. Montgomery County SHIP will complete drug plan comparisons for MONTGOMERY COUNTY residents ONLY .

• To request a comparison please download and complete the 2017 Prescription Drug Worksheet and mail it to our new office location at: SHIP State Health Insurance Assistance Program 12320 Parklawn Drive, MD 20852 Or contact our office to have a form mailed to you.  All forms must be returned to our office by mail.

Important Dates

October 15, 2016 – SHIP begins processing 2017 Prescription Drug Worksheets.

November 21, 2016 – End date – all 2017 Prescription Drug Worksheets must be post marked by this date for SHIP to process them.

Posted in EVENTS

Medicare Hot Topics

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The Medicare Advantage Dis-enrollment Period (MADP) is January through February 14 each year.
  If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan you can leave your Plan and switch to  Original Medicare.  Original Medicare coverage will begin the first day of the following month.

  If you switch to Original Medicare during this period, you will have until February 14 to also join a Medicare Prescription   Drug Plan. Your prescription drug coverage will begin the first day of the month after the plan receive your enrollment form.

During this period you cannot:
• Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan
• Switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another
• Switch from one Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to another

 

Posted in EVENTS
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