The open enrollment period for Medicare starts soon in Pennsylvania. Below is information and advice from the Pennsylvania Department of Aging.
PENNSYLVANIA STATE | The annual open enrollment period for Medicare beneficiaries begins next month. To assist consumers, the Pennsylvania Department of Aging (PDA) offers assistance with benefits counseling, plan comparisons, enrollment, and more.
The annual open enrollment period for Medicare beneficiaries will begin on October 15 and end on December 7, any new coverage selected or changes to existing benefits will take effect on January 1, 2023. During open enrollment, new Medicare beneficiaries can sign up for Medicare Prescription Drug coverage and health plans to complement Medicare, and current Medicare beneficiaries can review and join, switch, or drop Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug Coverage so that it better meets their needs.
To help Medicare beneficiaries sort through their options, the department offers free, objective health benefits counseling through Pennsylvania Medicare Education and Decision Insight (PA MEDI). Through Pennsylvania’s 52 Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs), PA MEDI counselors can assist Medicare beneficiaries with plan comparisons, help with enrollment in a new plan, and evaluate eligibility for any of Pennsylvania’s Medicare cost-savings programs.
PA MEDI provides free, confidential, objective, and digestible information about Medicare Advantage Plans, prescription drug plans, and Medicare Supplement plans, allowing Medicare beneficiaries to compare plans and determine what best meets their needs. The PDA urges Pennsylvanians to use this service. During the enrollment period, consumers may encounter television or radio ads with celebrities endorsing Medicare Advantage plans’ extra benefits and free offers. Although these ads may mimic official Medicare communication, the ads are from brokers or agents who receive financial incentives to enroll beneficiaries in these plans.
“Navigating health care options can be confusing, tedious, and overwhelming. Unfortunately, ads from brokers or agents offering enticing incentives can add to the confusion. PA MEDI counselors do not endorse any insurance company, product, or agent. When comparing insurance plan options, older adults should consider their current health situation, plan benefits, access to providers, available plans in their area, and overall costs, coverage, and convenience being offered,” said Secretary of Aging Robert Torres. “We encourage all new or current Medicare beneficiaries to take advantage of the free independent counseling services available through PA MEDI. These trained counselors can help guide seniors to be more informed and confident in deciding what options may be the best for them.”
More information on PA MEDI can be found HERE.