Medicare Resources

With 25 different prescription drug plans and 41 different Medicare Advantage Plans to choose from in New York City, making the right decision is a major challenge. Here are the web sites Medicare enrollees need to make informed choices.

On average Medicare beneficiaries overpay by $368 annually for prescription drug plans; only 5% choose the cheapest drug plan. It pays to review your options every year during Open Enrollment.

On average Medicare beneficiaries overpay by $368 annually for prescription drug plans; only 5% choose the cheapest drug plan. It pays to review your options every year during Open Enrollment.

Medicare.gov is the official government website for Medicare enrollees. If you are not enrolled in Medicare and think you qualify, you must sign up through Social Security. If you are enrolled in Original Medicare (Parts A & B), you can use the Medicare Plan Finder to find the cheapest Part D Prescription Drug Plan. Enter the medications you currently take into this online tool, and it will calculate the expected annual costs for all 35 drug plans, including monthly premiums and your out-of-pocket co-payments. Or, using the same Plan Finder, you can find a Medicare Advantage Plan that includes Part D Prescription Drug coverage. Go to  https://www.medicare.gov/  or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) for assistance.

Medicare Interactive provides reliable, user-friendly consumer information on how to use Medicare.  You can use the traditional search box at the top of each page to look up information. Or you may want to browse Medicare Interactive’s detailed Table of Contents if you are not sure of your search term.  Medicare Interactive is part of the Medicare Rights Center, a non-profit orgnization and the largest and most reliable independent source of Medicare information and assistance in the United States.  http://www.medicareinteractive.org/

The Medicare Rights Center operates a national telephone hotline that fields over 15,000 questions a year. Trained volunteers and staff are available to assist patients in preparing appeals. Call the Medicare Rights Center National Helpline at 1-800-333-4114, Monday through Friday.

Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap)

Choosing a Medigap Policy: A Guide to Health Insurance for People with Medicare is a a 50 page PDF ebook you can download from medicare.gov. It explains this complicated subject as simply as possible. You can download it here.

Within limits set by federal law, individual states set the rules under which Medigap policies are sold. Learn about New York State Medigap rules here and here.

New York State Medicare Supplement Monthly Premiums: Use this online lookup tool to see the latest rates for all Medigap plans in your zip code.

Assistance for Medicare Beneficiaries

New York State Health Insurance Information Counseling and Assistance Program (HIICAP)  provides information on low income programs that help pay for Medicare including the Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) Program, Medicare Savings Programs, “Extra Help” prescription assistance, and pharmacy discount programs: For more information call HIICAP at 1-800-701-0501 or go here online: http://www.aging.ny.gov/NYSOFA/Services/Index.cfm?id=HIICAP,#HIICAP

Seeking advice from an experienced advocate Medicare is good investment in lowering costs and getting better care for many patients. We can help.