The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) will start on October 15 and last through December 7, 2021. Sourcewise Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program (HICAP) Counselors have adapted to serve Santa Clara County residents’ needs amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Each year, plans may change premiums, benefits, and out-of-pocket costs (like deductibles and copayments/coinsurance) for the upcoming 2022 year. The AEP allows Medicare beneficiaries to respond and adapt their Medicare needs such as:
- Change, enroll in, or drop a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan (PDP).
- Enroll in or change a Medicare Advantage (MA) Part C HMO or PPO plan for its extra benefits and managed network.
- Leave the managed system of MA and instead use Original Medicare, a PDP, and Medigap for a greater physician, provider, or facility flexibility.
HICAP Counselors can help you review changes, identify options, and help arrange your Medicare options to meet your needs for 2022. HICAP will host AEP presentations called Medicare’s 2021 Annual Enrollment Period and Updates for 2022 via Zoom to keep you informed on the latest plan options and changes.
To keep clients safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, HICAP will provide counseling services by phone and, when possible, by video conference. To prepare for an appointment, sign up for a Medicare.gov account, especially if you take several medications. You can gain access to your Medicare history, including a list of recently filled prescriptions. HICAP Counselors can help you find the lowest cost drug plan on the Medicare.gov Plan Finder. If you do not have an account, HICAP Counselors will still assist you.
Save money on Medicare Part D drug costs through the Low-Income Subsidy program (also called “Extra Help”). To qualify, the income must be less than $2,177.50 each month for couples and $1,610 each month for singles; and savings or assets less than $29,520 and $14,790 respectively. If you are still working, the income limits can be higher since roughly half your wages would not be counted.
Sourcewise HICAP counseling is free, unbiased, and available to Medicare eligible Santa Clara County residents. To attend Medicare’s 2021 Annual Enrollment Period and Updates for 2022 presentation or to schedule a one-on-one counseling session with a HICAP counselor, call (408) 350-3200, option 2, or visit the Sourcewise website at mysourcewise.com/calendar.