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Letter to the Editor: Haddam COA Reminds Seniors about Medicare Open Enrollment

The views stated here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the editors of this newspaper. We welcome supporting or opposing views on any published item. Received November 3, 2022.

It’s that time of year again. That is, for seniors it is “Open Enrollment” from now through December 7, 2022.  That’s when you get bombarded with mail and TV advertisements claiming that you can reduce your medical costs if you sign up for their plan.  If you are retired and are getting monthly Social Security checks, you should be part of the Medicare Part A & B programs (Hospital & Doctor Visit coverage).  Some of you have opted for Medicare Part D or a “private” plan to get drug coverage.  This additional coverage is marketed under different names, but is called Medicare Advantage by the Federal government.

Since last month, I have gotten mail from: AARP, Anthem, Cigna, ConnectiCare, Hartford Health Care and GoHealth. In Connecticut alone, there are 25 “plans” to choose from.  (I changed my TV service, so I am missing out on the numerous advertisements.)  Most of these firms have a “Help Line” for you to call.  The point here is that these private companies want you to give THEM the money you now give to the Social Security Administration.  It should also be obvious that these firms make a profit at this business.  

You need to understand that some plans are better than others, and some of the services you receive will be different; for example, you might have to use their doctor, you might have to call a “Telehealth” number vs. seeing an actual doctor, prescriptions might be mailed vs. going to a pharmacy, etc., so you need to be informed and prepared before you call!  

My suggestion is to do some research before you switch and seek help:

  • If you have a computer www.Medicare.gov will lead you to “SHIP” the State Health Insurance Assistance Program.
  • Haddam seniors can contact Jessica Condil, Director of Senior & Social Services at 860-345-4621.  She’ll give you a time when you can come in and talk to her, or her assistant.  The Town of Haddam doesn’t offer any kind of program, but she can help you understand what “Open Enrollment” is all about.
  • Many pharmacies will help you; in Haddam, contact Nutmeg Pharmacy at 860-345-3607.  They’ll give you a time to come in and meet with them.  This is similar to what Jessica will do for you.  You can also contact CVS or Walgreens if you prefer.                                                                                                                                               R. Thurston Clark, Haddam Committee on Aging

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