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Posted by Positive Aging Community on 10/06/2023

Making the Most of Medicare Open Enrollment


Join Us For A Live & Interactive Discussion with Michelle Thomas, MPA Arlington County VICAP’s Program Coordinator - Concerned that prescription costs will increase as your health needs change? - During Open Enrollment you can make changes to your health or prescription drug plan - Join us to know your options, eligibility, and Medicare coverage costs Produced in partnership with VHC Health and Arlington County 

Chat Transcript

12:09:27     From  Edith Harriet   to   Hosts and panelists : I have been told that Medicare Advantage if for people who cannot afford insurance,  Is this correct?

12:14:06     From  Kate Chutuape   to   Hosts and panelists : Hello everyone - here is my contact information:

12:14:28     From  Kate Chutuape   to   Hosts and panelists : Kate Chutuape, 703558-6859; kchutuape@vhchealth.org

12:14:33     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Community : SHIP is your local State Health Insurance Assistance Program. SHIP provides unbiased help to Medicare beneficiaries, their families, and caregivers. Whether you are new to Medicare, reviewing Medicare plan options, or have questions on how to use your Medicare, SHIP can help. https://www.shiphelp.org/

12:14:42     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Community : From Kate Chutuape to All Panelists 12:14 PM

Hello everyone - here is my contact information:

Kate Chutuape, 703558-6859; kchutuape@vhchealth.org

12:17:00     From  Kate Chutuape : For information about VHC Senior Health programs and services, please visit: https://www.vhchealth.org/classes-events/healthy-aging/

12:17:57     From  G M   to   Hosts and panelists : Are packets sent if you’re not receiving social security?

12:18:20     From  Belinda Ragin   to   Hosts and panelists : Is a person required to take Medicare at 65 if they are employed and have insurance?

12:23:50     From  Kathleen Steed : Re: Medigap.  The AARP UHC Plan F has announced their 2024 premium will cost almost $5,000.  I added up all my premiums from 2015-2022 and all of UCH’s reimbursements for those years.  There were two years where the reimbursement was around $5,000 for major surgery, one for unexpected cancer; the second orthopaedic.  Seven years of  total premiums were close to $25,000.  The total UHC reimbursement was $15,000.   How do I find out what the Medigap alternatives are?  How do they compare with my current UHC Plan F in cost and coverage?

12:24:43     From  Leslie McTyre : Hearing aids?

12:37:32     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Community : Medicare can be a pain to understand: Ari Parker, Author of It’s Not That Complicated https://www.retirementlivingsourcebook.com/videos/medicare-can-be-a-pain-to-understand-ari-parker-author-of-it%E2%80%99s-not-that-complicated

12:38:56     From  Leslie McTyre : If we had Medicare for All would it not be less confusing and more beneficial for everyone?

12:40:01     From  Edith Harriet   to   Hosts and panelists : If you need an experimental drug which is very expensive, I believe Medicare Advantage is not accommodating.  Would it be better to have medigap

12:40:28     From  G M   to   Hosts and panelists : So the packet will come independent of whether you are enrolled in social security?

12:41:17     From  Bonnie Nelson : I retired from Arlington Schools 7 years ago. In Jan, 2023, we went onto Medicare Advantage.  Can I transfer to Medicare any year or is there only a one year window to go back to Medicare?

12:45:57     From  Kathleen Steed : Can you show the resources slide again, please?

12:47:01     From  Kathleen Steed : The slide for non-Virginia resources?

12:49:15     From  Belinda Ragin   to   Hosts and panelists : That should be changed. It is not fair :-)

12:49:51     From  Leslie McTyre : for a lifetime???!  this is more than outrageous!!

12:52:12     From  Michelle Thomas   to   Hosts and panelists : We look forward to supporting your healthcare journey!


Arlington County Residents Contact: 

Phone: 703-228-1725 

Email: MedicareHelp@arlingtonva.us 

(Mon-Fri 9am-5pm)

Url: https://www.arlingtonva.us/Government/Departments/DHS/Aging-Disability/Programs/VICAP 



Outside of Arlington County, contact your local

State Health Insurance and Assistance Program

https://www.shiphelp.org/

12:53:17     From  Michelle Thomas   to   Hosts and panelists : Resources: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS): https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare

Medicaid: https://coverva.org   

Medicare Interactive website: https://www.medicareinteractive.org

National Counsel on Aging (NCOA): https://www.ncoa.org/economic-security/benefits/Medicare-and-medicaid/

Social Security Administration (SSA): https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/Medicare/

Virginia Insurance Counseling & Assistance Program: https://aging-disability.arlingtonva.us/programs/vicap/

Plan Finder Demo Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpWr3MiDjMQ

12:54:06     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Community : https://www.medicare.gov/

12:54:07     From  Michelle Thomas   to   Hosts and panelists : Official Medicare website: https://www.medicare.gov/

12:57:20     From  Kathleen Steed : Where is information on Medicare Supplement plans — to compare them?

12:58:18     From  Kathleen Steed : Medigap I mean

12:58:33     From  Michelle Thomas   to   Hosts and panelists : SHIP Oregon - 1-800-722-4134

12:59:10     From  Kate Chutuape : SHIP Oregon - 1-800-722-4134

12:59:34     From  Betty Bahadori : Thank you MIchelle Thomas. You have been clear and detailed as possible. Very helpful!

12:59:45     From  Michelle Thomas   to   Hosts and panelists : Thank you Betty!

12:59:56     From  Belinda Ragin   to   Hosts and panelists : Thank you!

13:00:36     From  Michelle Thomas   to   Hosts and panelists : Thank you, Belinda!

13:03:44     From  Kathleen Steed : SHIP NYC

13:05:20     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Community : Explore your Medicare coverage options https://www.medicare.gov/plan-compare/#/?year=2024&lang=en

13:07:32     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Community : Snow Birds, people who spend several months during winter in another warmer weather State such as Florida or Arizona or other warmer states, how do these people decide about Medigap and drug plans for each state? 


Should they just keep their Original Medicare?


Also for snow Birds, who are dual eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, since you say it is against law to be sold Medigap policy if you have Medicaid. 


Since Medicaid is state specific, while you are in warmer states for winter, how does someone pay health care expenses for 

20 percent difference in coverages for those winter months. Any resources or suggestions?


If one needs healthcare coverage and original Medicare will only cover 80 percent what about the twenty percent expense coverage gap if you cannot buy a Medigap policy?


Do you have to just pay the twenty percent additional costs out of pocket as additional health expenses?


Thank you.

13:08:15     From  Michelle Thomas   to   Hosts and panelists : SHIP NY Office 1-800-701-0501

13:08:50     From  Kathleen Steed : Retirees who worked for NYC were told they had to change to a Medicare Advantage plan.  They sued, and won — That NYC Retirees do not have to change to Medicare Advantage.

13:09:07     From  Leslie McTyre : Incredibly useful info - Thanks Michelle, you were clear and precise.

13:10:01     From  Kathleen Steed : Where is the SHIP NYC link?

13:10:14     From  Michelle Thomas   to   Hosts and panelists : https://aging.ny.gov/health-insurance-information-counseling-and-assistance

13:10:25     From  Kate Chutuape : SHIP NY Office 1-800-701-0501

13:10:27     From  Kate Chutuape : https://aging.ny.gov/health-insurance-information-counseling-and-assistance

13:10:46     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Community : New York State's HIICAP is a statewide network of Health Insurance Information, Counseling, and Assistance Programs, https://aging.ny.gov/health-insurance-information-counseling-and-assistance

13:11:41     From  Steve Gurney - ProAging Community : Better Medicare Alliance https://bettermedicarealliance.org/

13:12:27     From  Kathleen Steed : Very helpful, thank you.  Maybe by the time I no longer need it, I will be able to figure it out.

13:13:06     From  Belinda Ragin   to   Hosts and panelists : I agree, this was very helpful. Thank you!


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