Kathy Coler

Kathy Coler can help with Medicare choices. Photo provided by Kathy Coler

Local Medicare specialist Kathy Coler reminds residents that the annual enrollment period for Medicare will end on December 7th.

Between October 15th and December 7th, Medicare beneficiaries have the opportunity to make new plan selections for the plan year starting January 1, 2022. While the local market remains stable with the provider networks and private plans, it is always good advice to review one’s Medicare plan each year to make sure it is still the right fit for you, Coler says. Here are some questions to review:

  • Did you like the plan for 2021?
  • Do you have any new health changes to consider?
  • Do you have new prescriptions to review for costs on each plan?
  • Do you need additional coverage such as dental, eye wear or hearing aids this year?
  • Are you traveling more or less…PPO vs. HMO?

One common mistake many people make when they begin to transition from Group Insurance to Medicare is not allowing enough time for Social Security to process the enrollment into Part B, if it was delayed at age 65. This processing time, assuming all paperwork is signed and dated properly, can take 4-8 weeks depending on the office processing the application. If you plan to retire this year and need insurance for January, it is best to begin the process of enrolling now.

Another common area overlooked is applying for EPIC if you qualify. EPIC is the NY State pharmacy program that is FREE for most who live in NY. You must be age 65, live in NY, be enrolled in a Part D plan (whether stand alone or Advantage) and have income below the single limit of $75,000 or Joint income $100,000 per year. EPIC allows Medicare beneficiaries to change their Medicare plan an additional time once a year through a Special Enrollment Period. In addition, it provides reduced pharmacy costs, especially useful for those who may hit the “donut” hole each year. For more information on plans or questions, please contact, Kathy Coler at 585-298-6288 or www.kathycoler.com.

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