DETROIT – Time is running out for Medicare beneficiaries to enroll, upgrade or renew their current Medicare plan. Individuals 65 and over only have until next Thursday, Dec. 7, to sign up for a health insurance plan that starts on Jan. 1.
To aid the effort, HAP is extending hours at its Flint and Southfield office locations from 8 a.m. until midnight, Dec. 7.
For most seniors, open enrollment is a time to select a Medicare Advantage Plan. Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans can help pay for items not covered by the basic Medicare insurance offered by the government. Items like dental services, eyeglasses and prescription drugs are typically covered by Medicare Advantage plans. And most have monthly premiums with $0 copayment preventive and wellness programs to help individuals maintain a healthy lifestyle.
“Think of Medicare open enrollment as the chance to conduct a Medicare check-up,” said Mike Jakubic, director of Medicare sales and operations, HAP. “Take a close look at your plan to see if you have too much or too little coverage. Before the Dec. 7 deadline, examine what you will need versus what you are paying out of pocket. The true cost of health care is the premium plus any copays, deductibles or coinsurance, so consumers should make sure they are looking at their entire out-of-pocket costs.”
HAP’s $0 premium Medicare Advantage plans offer numerous wellness programs designed to help members stay fit and healthy. With 22 different wellness tools, HAP’s Medicare Advantage members enjoy the flexibility to choose programs and activities they enjoy. For example, HAP’s Silver&Fit® Exercise & Healthy Aging Program gives members the option of using a fitness center, home fitness kit, a mobile app or a fitness device for a nominal annual fee.
Individuals who are happy with their existing Medicare plan and know that the same plan is still available do not need to make updates; their current plan will automatically renew. However, individuals who are enrolling for the first time or switching Medicare plans must enroll by Dec. 7 to have coverage that will start on Jan. 1, 2018. Individuals who received notice that their current Medicare plans will terminate on Dec. 31 will have until Dec. 31 to select a new plan.
HAP Medicare Advantage plans may be viewed online at hap.org/ MedicareHelp. HAP Medicare representatives are available for face-to-face meetings Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at HAP’s Detroit, Southfield and Flint locations. On Dec. 7, the HAP Flint and Southfield offices will be open from 8 a.m. to midnight for in-person meetings.
HAP representatives are also available by phone at 800-971-7878 (TTY: 711) Monday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon, to help consumers find a plan for their unique needs. On Dec. 7, individuals can call HAP representatives until midnight.