Medicare open enrollment starts Oct. 15

Whether you choose Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan – take advantage of Open Enrollment to review cost, coverage, or both for next year (2013).

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human, Medicare offers:

More Benefits:Certain preventive benefits – including cancer screenings – are available with no cost to patients when furnished by qualified and participating health professionals. The annual wellness visit allows people to sit down and discuss with their doctor their health care needs and the best ways to stay healthy. Better Choices:Medicare will notify beneficiaries about plan performance and use it’s only Plan Finder to encourage enrollment in quality plans.

Lower Costs:Average premiums for 2013 for prescription drug plan coverage and Medicare health plans will remain stable. People who are in the “donut hole” in Medicare’s prescription drug benefit will enjoy approximately 53 percent discounts on covered brand name drugs and see increased savings on generic drugs.

Open Enrollment is the one time of year when ALL people with Medicare can see what new benefits Medicare has to offer and make changes to their coverage.

Pinal- Gila Council for Seniors Citizens (PGCSC) has scheduled enrollment events in Pinal and Gila Counties. The Benefits and Advocacy Program is part of the Arizona State Health Insurance Program (SHIP). SHIP counselors are available to conduct on-line comparisons, assist with enrollment in a plan of your choice, assistance with applications and screening for extra help programs. Be sure and bring a list of prescriptions.

SHIP Counselors do not recommend or endorse any particular company, plan or agent. The SHIP provides free objective information about insurance and benefits.

For Medicare Open Enrollment event locations in your area or to schedule an appointment with a SHIP Counselor contact Pinal-Gila Council for Senior Citizens at 8969 W. McCartney Road, Casa Grande, Az. 85194 (520) 836-2758 or 1-800-293-9393.

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