PA MEDI counselors provide free, unbiased, and confidential information to help Medicare beneficiaries explore their options.
Harrisburg, PA – Medicare Annual Open Enrollment begins October 15, and Pennsylvania Medicare Education and Decision Insight, PA MEDI, is available to help Medicare beneficiaries explore and understand their health insurance plan options. PA MEDI is Pennsylvania’s State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). PA MEDI, housed in the 52 local Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs), provides unbiased education and assistance to Medicare-eligible individuals, their families, and caregivers to assist them in making informed health insurance decisions that optimize cost-savings and access to health care and benefits.
During the open enrollment period, which runs through December 7, beneficiaries can join, switch, or drop Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug Coverage. Open Enrollment is the time to take the opportunity to think about what benefits will matter and compare available options for 2023. During this time of year, consumers may see television ads with celebrities touting Medicare Advantage plans’ extra benefits and free offers. Although they may mimic official Medicare communications, the ads are from brokers or agents who receive financial incentive to enroll beneficiaries in these plans.
“When comparing their insurance plan options, beneficiaries should consider their personal situation, the plans available in their area, and the overall costs, coverage, and convenience offered by plans and not just the advertised extra benefits and free offers. We encourage beneficiaries to seek out PA MEDI, the known and trusted local resource for objective Medicare information,” said Susan Neff, PA MEDI director. “PA MEDI Counselors do not sell Medicare insurance products, nor do they endorse any insurance company, product, or agent. We will not recommend policies, companies, or insurance agents but will provide free, confidential, and unbiased personalized assistance during Medicare Annual Open Enrollment and year-round.”
Trained counselors are available during Open Enrollment and year-round for counseling by phone, via virtual, or in-person sessions at AAAs throughout the commonwealth. Individuals in Lycoming
Pathways to Success
Early Learning Housing Options Workforce Development Community Collaboration Independent Living
and Clinton counties can call the STEP Office of Aging at 570.323.3096 to learn more and schedule an appointment with a PA-MEDI counselor.
PA MEDI counselors can assist with plan comparisons, help enroll in a new plan and help determine eligibility for any of Pennsylvania’s Medicare cost-savings programs like PACE, Extra Help, and Medicare Savings Program. For any changes made, new coverage will start January 1, 2023. Beneficiaries can also visit Medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE to compare plans.
To find a PA MEDI event for open enrollment or an educational presentation, please visit aging.pa.gov/Medicare-counseling or contact your local Area Agency on Aging. The toll-free PA MEDI Helpline is 1-800-783-7067 and operates Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.-. All services are free and confidential.