Free assistance offered to Medicare beneficiaries |

Free assistance offered to Medicare beneficiaries

Free assistance is available to all Medicare beneficiaries during Medicare's upcoming annual election period, which starts Oct. 15 and ends Dec. 7. The annual election period, also called open enrollment, is when people with Medicare can join, disenroll from or change a Part D drug plan or Medicare Advantage plan with changes taking effect Jan. 1, 2014. It's a good idea for people to re-evaluate their Medicare plans during the AEP, since drug formularies, premiums and other out-of-pocket costs can change every year.

HICAP is a nonprofit organization that provides free, unbiased, one-on-one counseling to Medicare beneficiaries. Anyone who would like advice or assistance with changing or joining a Part D or Medicare Advantage plan should call now to schedule an appointment during the AEP. Beneficiaries are encouraged to bring with them a list of their prescription drugs, including dosage and frequency.

For a free HICAP appointment, please call the Helpline office at 530-273-2273. People who are turning 65 or are new to Medicare or people needing assistance with other Medicare issues are welcome to make an appointment any time during the year. Counseling sites are located in Grass Valley and Truckee.

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