Medicare Annual Open Enrollment begins Oct. 15, and Pennsylvania Medicare Education and Decision Insight, PA MEDI, is available to help Medicare beneficiaries explore and understand their health insurance plan options.
PA MEDI is Pennsylvania’s State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). PA MEDI, housed in the 52 local Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs), provides unbiased education and assistance to Medicare-eligible individuals, their families, and caregivers to assist them in making informed health insurance decisions that optimize cost-savings and access to health care and benefits.
During the open enrollment period, which runs through Dec. 7, beneficiaries can join, switch, or drop Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug Coverage. Open Enrollment is the time to take the opportunity to think about what benefits will matter and compare available options for 2023.
During this time of year, consumers may see television ads with celebrities touting Medicare Advantage plans’ extra benefits and free offers. Although they may mimic official Medicare communications, the ads are from brokers or agents who receive financial incentive to enroll beneficiaries in these plans.
“When comparing their insurance plan options, beneficiaries should consider their personal situation, the plans available in their area, and the overall costs, coverage, and convenience offered by plans and not just the advertised extra benefits and free offers. We encourage beneficiaries to seek out PA MEDI, the known and trusted local resource for objective Medicare information,” said Susan Neff, PA MEDI director.
“PA MEDI Counselors do not sell Medicare insurance products, nor do they endorse any insurance company, product, or agent. We will not recommend policies, companies, or insurance agents but will provide free, confidential, and unbiased personalized assistance during Medicare Annual Open Enrollment and year-round.”
Trained counselors are available during Open Enrollment and year-round for counseling by phone, via virtual, or in-person sessions at AAAs throughout the commonwealth. Call your local AAA or find your local Area Agency on Aging at www.aging.pa.gov/AAA to schedule a personalized counseling session. For more information, call the toll-free PA MEDI Helpline at 1-800-783-7067 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
PA MEDI counselors can assist with plan comparisons, help enroll in a new plan and help determine eligibility for any of Pennsylvania’s Medicare cost-savings programs like PACE, Extra Help, and Medicare Savings Program. For any changes made, new coverage will start January 1, 2023. Beneficiaries can also visit Medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE to compare plans.
To find a PA MEDI event for open enrollment or an educational presentation, please visit aging.pa.gov/Medicare-counseling or contact PA MEDI at the Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging 814-765-2696. All services are free and confidential.