Medicare is a program for people who are 65 or older and people with disabilities. You can read more about Medicare here. If you have Medicare now, then...
It's time to review your Medicare Plan!
October 15, 2017 to December 7, 2017 is the annual Medicare Open Enrollment Period. During Open Enrollment you may:
- Change from original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan
- Change from a Medicare Advantage Plan back to original Medicare
- Switch Medicare Advantage plans
- Join a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan
- Switch Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans
review your coverage--especially Part D and Medicare Advantage Plans--every year!
Premiums, co-pays and the drugs covered can change from year-to-year, even within the same plan. Your current plan should send you an "Annual Notice of Change" before Open Enrollment that outlines any changes for the next year. Medicare Part D plans are sold and managed by private companies and vary greatly in terms of monthly premiums, annual deductibles, drugs covered and prescription prices.
Insurers tweak Medicare Advantage Plans every year, and those changes could mean that you can't see your favorite doctor or you might need to pay more.
So--review, review, review!
MMAP Counselors Are There For You--For Free!
Every state has people who will help you figure out your Medicare options. In Michigan, these people--paid staff, and volunteers--work with the Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program. In Michigan, you can find your local MMAP program here. Nationally, the SHIP (State Health Insurance Assistance Program) can help you find assistance locally.
MMAP Counselors can help explain how Medigap and Medicare Advantage programs work, and can help you sift through your options for Part D plans. They can help you figure out if you can defer taking Medicare because you are still working. They can help you figure out if you qualify for extra help!
Some People Qualify For Extra Help
If your income is low, you may qualify for extra help. For instance, the Medicare Savings Program may help you pay your Medicare premium, or you may qualify for Medicaid and Medicare which together will cover all your health care costs. To qualify for the Medicare Savings Program you must be low-income and not have many assets. For married couples, your combined income must be less than $1847/month and you must have less than $11,090 in assets (excluding a house and car). For single people, your income must be less than $1376 and you must have less than $7390 in assets.
If you think you may qualify for Extra Help, talk to a MMAP (Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program) counselor.
Just MMAP It!
Washtenaw County is in a MMAP region that includes Livingston, Monroe, Macomb, St. Clair and Oakland counties. There are multiple ways to meet with MMAP counselors and MMAP and the Area Agency on Aging 1B have multiple events scheduled for Open Enrollment. Call 1-800-803-7174 to schedule an appointment. Call now because availability is limited!
Events in SE Michigan including Washtenaw, Livingston, Monroe, Macomb, St. Clair and Oakland.
Washtenaw County Events and Partner sites with in-person appointments available.
Livingston County Events and Partner sites with in-person appointments available.