Health Info & Resources for Seniors
The Pennsylvania Department of Aging reminds consumers that the annual open enrollment period for Medicare beneficiaries will begin Thursday, October 15, 2020, and end Monday, December 7, 2020. Any new coverage selected takes effect January 1, 2021. During open enrollment, new Medicare beneficiaries can sign up for Medicare Prescription Drug coverage and health plans to complement Medicare, and current
Medicare beneficiaries can review and join, switch, or drop Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug Coverage so that it better meets their needs.
In order to help Medicare beneficiaries sort through their options, the Department of Aging offers free, objective health benefits counseling through the APPRISE Program that is designed to counsel and encourage Medicare-eligible individuals, their families, and caregivers, to make informed health care coverage decisions. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, counseling sessions will be conducted over the phone, virtually, or, at the discretion of the Area Agencies on Aging, face-to-face with proper health and safety precautions in place. “Navigating any kind of health care option can be confusing, tedious and overwhelming. Whether an older adult is a new Medicare beneficiary or interested in learning all their coverage options, we encourage all seniors to take advantage of the free independent counseling services available through APPRISE,” said Secretary of Aging Robert Torres. “The trained APPRISE counselors can guide beneficiaries through their choices and help them be more informed and confident in deciding what may be the best option for them.” With almost 800 trained counselors in the commonwealth, the APPRISE Program provides free, confidential, objective, and easy-to-understand information about Medicare Advantage Plans, prescription drug plans, and Medicare Supplement plans, and allows Medicare beneficiaries to compare plans and determine what best meets their needs. APPRISE volunteer counselors receive free training about Medicare, Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, Medigap, Medicare prescription drug coverage, appeals, fraud, abuse, and more. To learn more about the APPRISE Program or becoming a volunteer, click here or to find an open enrollment event in your area call the APPRISE Helpline at 1-800-783-7067.