Surry County Senior Health Insurance Information Program Coordinator Carmen Long reminds local seniors that just as personal health needs change from year to year, so do the benefits and costs of personal health care plans.
The Medicare Annual Election Period begins Oct. 15 and lasts sevenweeks to give senors time to review and make changes to your coverage. Long said that participants need to make final selections of coverage for next year’s Medicare coverage by Dec. 7.
Long said that many could find a range of 31 prescription drug plans for North Carolina residents. She said premiums on these plans range from $15 to $116.80 monthly.
“With 31 plans to consider, it’s almost impossible for an individual to feel they have fully researched and considered these plans for the best choice for them,” commented Long. She added, for instance, that income guidelines and asset limits for some plans allow individuals to make $1,256.63 yearly and couples to make $1,702.13 and qualify for eight plans with zero premiums, still obtain their medications at a reduced rate and not fear the doughnut hole.
Seniors also may visit www.medicare.cov/find-a-plan 24 hours a day, seven days a week to compare existing coverage with options available locally. Additionally, seniors may call 1-800-633-4227 to find about insurance options. One-on-one help also can be obtained by calling Seniors Health Insurance Information program at 1-800-443-9354.
SHIIP is a division of the North Carolina Department of Insurance and can assist anyone with questions about medicare Part D coverage information and enrollment. Trained counselors are available for one-on-one counseling appoints in all 100 North Carolina counties.
“These income and asset limits change yearly,” added Long. “It is always a good idea to check. Long said that SHIIP is planning three Medicare Information events starting Oct. 19 to help seniors choose coverage that is best for them.” She explained that the group receives many questions from those that turn 65 this December. They will choose a plan for the remainder of 2012 and then must pick a plan in January for 2013.
She said the free events are titled Unlocking the Mysteries of Medicare Prescription Drug Plans. One will be held Oct. 19 at the Elkin Center of Surry Community College. It will be held from 10 a.m. to noon. Another will be held on Oct. 26 in the Human Services Building off of U.S. 601 in the old Lowe’s Hardware Building in Mount Airy from 10 a.m. to noon and the third session will be held Nov. 2 at the Pilot Center of Surry Community College also from 10 a.m. to noon.
Long said the events will offer free food, fun, fellowship and gifts for participants. One feature of the sessions will be that each participant will receive a key for a Chance to unlock a treasure chest of prizes. She encouraged interested persons to call to register because seats are limited. The number to call to register is 401-8025.
Reach David Broyles at email@example.com or 7191952.