The Department of Human Services urges older adults to be on the alert for misleading post cards titled “Important: Projected Medicare Changes.” The cards are sent on behalf of insurance salespeople and are not endorsed by Medicare.
“Private insurance companies request signatures, ages, and other details on these post cards and then use the information to make sales calls and visits to people’s homes,” said Dr. James J. Bulot, Director of the Georgia Department of Human Services (DHS) Division of Aging Services. “If consumers have questions about Medicare changes, they should contact the GeorgiaCares network.”
The GeorgiaCares State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) offers individuals free, one-on-one help provided by trained local counselors. The program is managed statewide by the DHS Division of Aging Services and Georgia’s 12 Area Agencies on Aging. To contact GeorgiaCares, call 1-800-669-8387 toll-free or visit www.MyGeorgiaCares.org.
Callers may request personalized information about Medicare, Medicaid and Medigap matters, including long-term care insurance, claims, the resolution of billing problems, information and referral on public benefit programs aimed at those with limited incomes and assets, and other health care insurance information.
The GeorgiaCares team is ready to answer questions now about open enrollment for Medicare Part C (prescription drug coverage) and Part D (Medicare Advantage plans). Enrollment began November 15th, and recipients will have until December 31, 2010, to make their choices. After this period, beneficiaries may make limited changes during the annual Disenrollment Period of January 1 - February 14th of each year. Beneficiaries who do not want to make a change can remain in their plan from 2010.
GeorgiaCares SHIP counselors will answer hotline calls from individuals and provide community education sessions for any group throughout the state to help beneficiaries understand their options for next year. Beneficiaries can call GeorgiaCares toll-free at 1-800-669-8387 or Medicare at 1-800-Medicare (1-800-633-4227) for assistance.
GeorgiaCares SHIP urges everyone to review their coverage and make sure that any changes to the plan for 2011 will still meet their needs. Beneficiaries who want to consider all of their options will have access to help from many sources, including a notice of any coverage changes from their drug plan; the enhanced Medicare Drug Plan Finder at www.medicare.gov; the Medicare & You 2011 annual handbook that explains Medicare coverage; 1-800-Medicare (1-800-633-4227), which will be available 24/7; and GeorgiaCares - Local Help for People with Medicare, 1-800-669-8387.
For more information about services available to older Georgians and their families, visit the DHS Division of Aging Services at http://www.aging.dhr.georgia.gov or call (866) 55-AGING (552-4464).
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