Aging Well in Central Texas
AGING WELL IN CENTRAL TEXAS
Weekly information brought to you by the Area Agency on Aging of Central Texas (AAACT). The AAACT is a partner agency of the Central Texas Aging & Disability Resource Center (ADRC) and a program of the Central Texas Council of Governments. The AAACT is funded in part by the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services.
Annual Enrollment Starts October 15 and Ends December 7
For Medicare Part C and Part D Plans
Fall is the time for Medicare beneficiaries to explore their options regarding Part D prescription drug and Part C Medicare Advantage plans. In years past, the annual enrollment period began in mid-November and lasted to the end of the year, with any changes or choices made effective January 1st. Starting this year, that time period has been moved up. This year the Annual Coordinated Election Period (ACEP) for Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans will start on October 15th and end on December 7th. This means Medicare beneficiaries will have to analyze their options and make choices earlier than in previous years.
During the ACEP, often referred to as “open enrollment”, Medicare beneficiaries who do not have a Part D plan can enroll in one and those who do have Part D coverage can change plans. Beneficiaries can also return to traditional Medicare from a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan, enroll in a MA plan or change MA plans.
Beneficiaries who are satisfied with their plan in 2011 still need to review their plan options for 2012. Part D and MA plans may have made changes to their coverage, provider networks and other plan features. Starting October 1, 2011, plan information for 2012 will be available on the Medicare Plan Finder at www.medicare.gov. Medicare Advantage and Part D plan sponsors are allowed to start marketing their plans on October 1st. Source: The Center for Medicare Advocacy
Extra Help for Prescription Drugs
Extra Help is a federal program that can help you pay for some or most of the costs of Medicare prescription drug coverage if your income and assets are below a certain level. To be sure you get all the benefits you qualify for, contact the Area Agency on Aging of Central Texas, your local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), at 1.880.447.7169.