Although COVID-19 has impacted nearly every aspect of life, United Way of Rhode Island and the R.I. Office of Healthy Aging (OHA) want those age 65 and older to know that no-cost help is available with enrolling in their Medicare plan for 2021 coverage.
Although COVID-19 has impacted nearly every aspect of life, United Way of Rhode Island and the R.I. Office of Healthy Aging (OHA) want those age 65 and older to know that no-cost help is available with enrolling in their Medicare plan for 2021 coverage. The open enrollment period began Oct. 15 and ends Dec. 7, and the assistance available is for Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plans.
As a result of the pandemic, in-person consultations are not available. In their place, United Way and OHA are offering safe, virtual appointments by phone, computer or mobile device, using the preferred platform (Zoom, FaceTime, Google Meet, Skype, etc.) of the individual needing help. Family members and caregivers are encouraged to be present and be a part of the appointment. The Saturday appointments can be made by calling the POINT at (401) 462-4444, or 2-1-1, Monday through Friday. Once an appointment is made, a Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) counselor will contact the individual directly on the date/time specified, and through the requested platform.
The open enrollment period is the only time in which individuals can make changes to their health and prescription plans for 2021.
It is imperative that older Rhode Islanders understand the need to re-enroll in their Medicare plan each year, and that there are a number of important things to keep in mind when considering 2021 coverage: Was there a procedure or medication you needed in 2020 that was not covered; What were your co-pays, and are there new medications you’re taking or anticipate needing; Have you received a new diagnosis; and Are you struggling financially or had a change to your income?
“Things may be different right now, but we’re still here to help as a resource for the thousands of Rhode Islanders who need to enroll in Medicare within the next seven weeks,” said Cortney Nicolato, president and CEO of United Way. “No one should let the pandemic stand in the way of something as important as ensuring they have the health and prescription coverage they need for the coming year.”
Appointments for Medicare plan consultation and enrollment assistance may be made by calling the POINT at (401) 462-444, or by calling 2-1-1.