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Duncan: Sun City CAN counselors help with Medicare


The Mission of the Sun City Community Assistance Network is to, “Connect people with resources to enhance their standard of living.”

In other words, Sun City CAN helps people save money on things like property taxes, income taxes, utilities, Medicare premiums, prescription drugs and other things.

Many benefits go unclaimed simply because people are unaware that the benefits exist. In an effort to shed light on some of the help that is available to low-income seniors, I will write a guest commentary each month about a different senior help program.

Below is a listing of benefits available for low-income seniors that some may not realize are available.

Medicare help

Medicare open enrollment is Oct. 15-Dec. 7. The enrollment period is only for existing Medicare enrollees who want to make change to their coverage.

During this period, Sun City Community Assistance Network will have Medicare counselors on site to guide you through the process of making changes. Appointments for the 2022 open enrollment period are now available by calling the CAN office at 623-933-7530.

What can you do during Medicare open enrollment?

During Medicare open enrollment, you can join, switch or drop a Part D (prescription drug) plan. You can change from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan, or a Medicare Advantage plan to Original Medicare. You can switch between Medicare Advantage plans. Your coverage for any change will begin Monday, Jan. 1. 

Why might you want to make changes?

One of the most important reasons to review your plan options is the new Medicare Advantage plans that become available each year. Each plan can add, change or delete benefits. Reviewing all of the plans available during open enrollment can give you a better chance of finding the best option for your needs. 

You can evaluate changes to your costs and coverage compared to other available plans. For example, you may be perfectly happy with your current plan since it matched up with your health care needs. However, this year, there may be a new plan added that is more advantageous. 

If you have gaps in your prescription drug coverage, you can switch to a policy that has better coverage for the medications that you are taking. Be sure to bring a list of all your medications to the open enrollment appointment. The Medicare counselor can help you select a plan that is best suited to your unique situation.

In summary, even if you are happy with your current coverage, it may still make sense to review your options to ensure you are not missing out on a better plan. If you are currently enrolled in Medicare and would like to make changes or you would like to compare your present coverage with other available plans, now is the time to call the CAN office and make an appointment.

Call 623-933-7530.

Editor's Note: Hugh Duncan is Sun City Community Assistance Network board president.