Among the issues to consider are whether the doctors they prefer are part of their plan and whether the prescription medications they take are covered. People who like the benefits they receive under their current Medicare plan don't have to do anything, but it's important to know whether their plan may be changing. Sometimes plans are discontinued and their subscribers must choose another option.
If they need help figuring it all out, Area Agencies on Aging, such as Blair Senior Services in Altoona, offer a free health insurance counseling program. The Apprise Program can help people sort through their options, and pick the plan that suits their needs.
At Blair Senior Services, Apprise Coordinator Jennifer Park says, "it can be very confusing. I have many who come in and they're very relieved to come in and have someone to talk to, ask questions, bounce ideas off, and again understand what's coming up for 2013."
Most Area Agencies on Aging have enrollment events where seniors can receive guidance. If you live in Blair County, call Blair Senior Services at 814-946-1235. Medicare recipients in other counties can contact APPRISE, toll-free at 1-800-783-7067.
You can also complete your own plan comparisons by assessing the plan finder tool on the Medicare website.