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Medicare Open Enrollment Period Begins

By   /   October 18, 2012  /   Comments

ATLANTA – Americans have seven full weeks, starting Oct. 15, to select new Medicare plans or choose to stay with current coverage. During this year’s Medicare open-enrollment period, which ends Dec. 7, the Georgia Department of Human Services (DHS) Division of Aging Services and the state’s Area Agencies on Aging will offer free one-on-one assistance and community presentations to help Georgians make decisions about Medicare health and prescription drug plans.

GeorgiaCares, the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), offers personalized assistance through a toll-free help line at 866-55AGING (866-552-4464). Consumers may also compare plans at www.Medicare.gov or call 800-Medicare (800-633-4227). “Specialists in the GeorgiaCares program are trained to provide well-researched, unbiased information about Medicare health insurance coverage, prescription drugs, and Medicare supplements,” said Dr. James J. Bulot, DHS’ Director of Aging Services. “They can also help0 consumers discover whether they may be eligible for help in paying for Medicare.”

People with Medicare can create personalized coverage solutions from options such as Original Medicare, “Part D” prescription drug-help plans, and comprehensive “Part C” Medicare Advantage plans. Plan details may change, so beneficiaries should carefully review their current coverage annually.

GeorgiaCares SHIP counselors also assist with filling out applications for for “Extra Help,” which covers costs associated with Medicare premiums, deductibles, and co-payments for financially eligible individuals. Online applications are available at
www.socialsecurity.gov/prescriptionhelp or through the Social Security hotline at 800-772-1213 (TTY: 800-325-0778).

For more information about GeorgiaCares and other services available to older Georgians and their families, visit the DHS Division of Aging
Services at www.aging.ga.gov or call (866) 55-AGING (552-4464).

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