Medicare open enrollment begins
by PI Staff
Oct 09, 2013 | 1548 views | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Beginning Tuesday, Oct. 15, Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program is sponsoring free forums at the Patterson, Modesto and Turlock Senior Center for Medicare Beneficiaries.

Medicare fraud liaison Sandy Ranzo-Howell of the HICAP Modesto office will be conducting these forums that will provide seniors with 2014 benefit information. Representatives will not be selling at the forums.

According to Ranzo-Howell, the HICAP office has been receiving many calls from confused citizens about the different enrollment dates, as well as concerns about Covered California, which lead many seniors to be victims of phone scams.

“Seniors are receiving calls telling them, because of the Affordable Care Act, Medicare is sending them a new card, and the caller identifies himself as being from Medicare,” said Ranzo-Howell. “And he needs their Social Security number to verify, and then they will receive a new card. Many seniors are falling for this scam.”

According to a release sent by HICAP, if you have Medicare, you don’t need to do buy insurance, since Medicare is not part of Covered California’s insurance marketplace. Medicare benefits have, however, expanded under the Affordable Care Act, like eliminating co-payments for many preventive services and offering a new annual wellness visit.

HICAP also urges seniors to beware of false claims from advertising or insurance agents.

In an effort to prevent these scams, HICAP will work with seniors to review and compare their Medicare health plan and prescription drug plan benefits by hosting several Advantage Plan forums.

Currently, there are seven Medicare Advantage Plans in Stanislaus County; AARP-Secure Horizons, Care 1st, Care More, Citizen’s Choice, Easy Choice, HealthNet, and Kaiser’s Senior Advantage.

Medicare Advantage Plan Forums will take place in Patterson on Tuesday, Oct. 16 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Patterson Hammon Senior Center; Wednesday, Oct. 17 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Modesto Senior Center; Oct. 24 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Turlock Senior Center and Oct. 29 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Oakdale Gladys Lemons’ Center.

For more information: 558-4540

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