Medicare Open Enrollment Begins

SHINE jpegMedicare Open Enrollment Begins Oct. 15th
Need Help Figuring It Out?

Have you been waiting to make changes to your Medicare Prescription Drug or Medicare Advantage plan? The long-awaited official period of change is here. The Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), the specific time frame to make changes in your Medicare plan, runs from October 15 through December 7, 2017.  ElderSource, the Area Agency on Aging for Northeast Florida has a specific program through the Florida Department of Elder Affairs to help seniors understand their options and make the best choice for them.

The program, called SHINE (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Elders has trained volunteers to give free and unbiased Medicare counseling to Florida’s seniors. The program provides educational presentations, informational materials, and an opportunity to speak one-on-one with a trained Medicare counselor.

Medicare beneficiaries are faced with an overwhelming array of healthcare choices and may need guidance on Medicare issues, supplemental policies, prescription resources, and Medicaid coverage. Medicare beneficiaries are encouraged to make a plan — review your costs and coverage and take the necessary steps to ensure your healthcare needs are met in 2017. The ElderSource SHINE counselors are here for you!

SHINE can assist all Medicare beneficiaries during the Medicare Annual Election Period to compare and, if necessary, enroll in Medicare health or prescription drug plans. ElderSource is hosting a number of enrollment clinics in Volusia County where individuals may receive in-person assistance and get more information.

Also note that general enrollment is happening now and will end on March 31st, 2017. This enrollment period is if a beneficiary did not sign up for Part A and/or Part B when first eligible. 

Interested individuals are invited to visit www.FloridaSHINE.org for a listing of local events.

Call the ElderSource Elder Helpline toll-free at 1-888-242-4464 and ask to speak with a SHINE counselor. 

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