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What’s the deal with Medicare supplement plans?

Joan Hatem-Roy Chief Executive Officer

Question: Every day, my mailbox is filled with advertisements about insurance plans to supplement my Medicare. I’m satisfied with my current Medicare plan, so why am I being hounded nonstop?

Answer: Companies that offer additional coverage for Medicare beneficiaries are trying to increase their customer base. They are prohibited from calling you or visiting you at home without your requesting this kind of contact. As a result, they use frequent mailings as their primary marketing method. Medicare Open Enrollment began October 15 and continues until December 7. This explains the heavy volume of mail you have been receiving in recent weeks.

Although you stated you are satisfied with your current plan, experts suggest evaluating your coverage annually during Medicare Open Enrollment to be sure it remains your most cost-effective option. You should receive an annual notice of change from your current plan, including information about coverage and your out-of-pocket costs. Your plan could change, so it makes sense to make sure it still meets your needs for the year ahead. Now is the best time to do that.

The 2022 “Medicare & You” handbook contains information explaining the difference between the original Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans, as well as details about preventive services and drug coverage plans. If you have further questions or wish to speak with an informed resource, please call your local SHINE Program (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone) at 1-800-243-4636 for a free, personal consultation or visit our website: https://www.esmv.org/programs-services/shine-program

SHINE counselors are highly trained volunteers who are certified to work with Medicare beneficiaries. They can aid you in discussing and considering the various options that best suit your specific situation.

Are you struggling to care for an older adult or having difficulty locating resources? Our experienced staff is available to help. Visit us online at www.ESMV.org for more information. You can also call us at 1-800-892-0890 or email info@esmv.org. Joan Hatem-Roy is the Chief Executive Officer of Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley and North Shore.