55Plus: SHINE news


The Open Enrollment Period (Oct. 15 – Dec. 7) for Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C) and Prescription Drug Plans (Part D) is starting, and it is very important to re-evaluate your Medicare options for 2023 during this period. Each year Medicare plans can change premiums, deductibles, co-pays, and the prescription formulary (list of drugs they cover). In addition, Medicare Advantage Plans (HMOs, PPOs) often add and/or drop primary and specialty physicians, skilled nursing facilities and hospitals. 

Your current plan is required to notify you by Sept. 30 of any changes for the coming year. You should have received this letter and read through it. It does contain the premium for 2023. Some people did not read their letter for 2022, and did not realize, until too late, their premiums doubled. 

If you decide to keep your current plan, no further action is required. Changes to your Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Prescription Drug (Part D) Plan during the Open Enrollment Period take effect Jan. 1, 2023. (Please note: This enrollment period may not affect you if you have retiree coverage through a former job).

SHINE appointments fill up quickly, so don’t forget to call your senior center early. The Regional SHINE office is also available to help. If you would like the Regional SHINE office to assist you, please call 508-375-6762 for a telephone appointment. You may also contact Medicare at 1-800-633-4227; they are available 24 hours, 7 days a week.

This may also be the time of year when you have hit the gap, formerly the “doughnut hole,” and your medication costs have jumped. Fortunately, there are programs that may be able to assist with these costs. Please call the Regional SHINE office or talk with the SHINE counselor at your local senior center to learn about these assistance programs.

Remember — don’t wait until it is too late. If you don’t change your Part D plan during the Open Enrollment Period (Oct. 15 – Dec. 7), your 2022 plan will be your 2023 plan. Let SHINE help you navigate through the 2023 plan changes.