Medicare open enrollment workshop set for El Dorado County residents
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — A free, one-hour virtual workshop to help Medicare recipients understand what drug plans and Medicare Advantage plans will be available in El Dorado County in 2022 is scheduled from 10-11 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 26.
The workshop, presented by the El Dorado County Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program through Zoom or by phone, is for county residents and will include a question and answer period.
The workshop will help Medicare enrollees prepare for open enrollment, which is Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. The enrollment period is one of the few times Medicare beneficiaries can change, enroll into or dis-enroll from a Medicare Part D drug plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan (such as an HMO). Changes to plans are effective Jan. 1, 2022.
In 2021, there are 32 Medicare Part D drug plans and five Medicare Advantage Part C plans available in the county.
The workshop will be offered as a webinar with slides, as well as audio-only by telephone. No registration is required. To access the online workshop, go to http://www.HICAPservices.net/events. For telephone access dial: 1-669-900-6833; Meeting ID: 893 1390 9272; Passcode: 149229. A recording of the workshop will be available after the presentation at http://www.HICAPservices.net/events.
“Each year Medicare drug plans can and do change the list of covered drugs or the price of those drugs,” said Rhoda Slagle, regional coordinator for the El Dorado County HICAP. “These changes can lead to considerably higher out-of-pocket costs for seniors if they stay with the same plan. Research shows that people who take the time to review their plan choices each year can often significantly reduce their prescription drug costs by switching to a different Part D drug plan.
“Those with a Medicare Advantage Plan should be aware that Medicare has expanded its benefit options,” Slagle added. “Television ads about Medicare Advantage benefits can be grossly misleading. County residents need to know which Medicare Advantage Plans are available and that some plans may not include all of the benefits promoted in television ads.”
In addition to the workshop, HICAP provides free, unbiased, individual counseling about Medicare to residents throughout the year. HICAP is not associated with any insurance company. The program works in partnership with older adult programs of the El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, all HICAP counseling sessions are provided by telephone. To request an appointment, call 530-621-6169. The number of appointments is limited.
For more information about other older adult services in the county, visit https://www.edcgov.us/SeniorService.aspx.
Source: El Dorado County
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