Aging Well Discusses Navigating Medicare Open Enrollment

Change is one of the few constants in life, and because of that it’s important to be mindful of Medicare Open Enrollment, even if you’re satisfied with your current coverage.

Successfully navigating Medicare Open Enrollment was recently discussed on Aging Well, a monthly production of Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services (SCES).

During that discussion, SCES Elder Care Advisor Corrine Lofchie noted that Medicare plans often change from year-to-year. Given that the open enrollment period is typically the only time Medicare recipients can adjust coverage, she recommended Medicare recipients review their options annually.

“A lot of times people will think they don’t need to check, because they like their plan, but often there are changes —they might up the premium or change the prescriptions they cover– so you want to make sure it’s the best fit, and that there’s not a plan out there that would be cheaper for you,” said Lofchie.

The open enrollment period runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7.

The next segment focused on factors to consider during Medicare Open Enrollment, and tools for navigating that process. The Medicare website was listed as one potentially useful resource, and SCES Resource Specialist Colleen Morrissey said it also makes sense to contact the plan provider in some cases.

“Every year your plan is required to send you a notice that outlines what things that have changed,” she said. “ But those can be really bulky– it might list every single medication that they cover. So sometimes it’s just easier to call your plan and run through your list of prescriptions with them to ensure that they still cover everything you need,” she said.

The final segment took a closer look at resources that can help recipients navigate the open enrollment period, such as free Medicare counseling through the SHINE program. Lofchie, who is a SHINE counselor, said it can be very helpful—but noted there’s a limited number of slots, and advised people going that route to book early by contacting either the SCES Aging Information Center or local senior centers.

Aging Well is a monthly production of SCES, which is produced in partnership with Somerville Cable Access Television (SCAT).

Aging Well airs on SCATV Channel 3 at the following times:

Sundays at 10am

Mondays at 7:30am

Tuesdays at 1pm.

Episodes are also available through the SCES Youtube channel.