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Medicare Open Enrollment: What Should You Do?

Oct 31, 2016 11:28AM ● By Elena Hutslar

Medicare open enrollment is here until December 7. It’s always a good idea to review your health or drug plan each year to make sure it’s still the best choice for you. Your needs and medications may have changed since last year, and plans may be no longer be available or may change their premiums, provider networks, formulary of approved drugs and/or copays.

Contra Costa HICAP (Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program) can help you understand your options. HICAP will be giving various community talks in the local area this fall, including one at John Muir Hospital Walnut Creek at 7pm on November 3, and the Pleasant Hill Senior Center at 1pm on November 15. HICAP will provide information on what’s new with Medicare and changes to Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans for 2017. Handouts with plan details will be available.

HICAP will also be holding several special counseling events for open enrollment, including events November 2 at the Walnut Creek Senior Club, November 15 at the Martinez Adult Education campus, and November 19 at Contra Costa County offices in Pleasant Hill. HICAP will review your plan and help optimize your coverage and potentially save you a significant amount of money for next year. If you want your medications to be reviewed, it’s best to complete a worksheet in advance and schedule an appointment. Drop-ins will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis. You can get help on any Medicare-related issue at one of these special sessions.

Call HICAP at (925) 602-4163 or visit their website at for more information. HICAP does not sell or endorse any products and offers free, impartial information and assistance to all Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers.