If you need financial help
Many South Florida residents qualify for Extra Help, the income-eligible program that helps pay prescription drug costs, including premiums, deductibles and co-pays, Sarmiento said. You can use this assistance if you have Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Plan. A SHINE volunteer can help determine if you qualify for this assistance, or you can check the Social Security Administration’s website at www.ssa.gov or call 800-772-1213.
How you want to enroll
Gary recommends using the Medicare Finder tool at Medicare.gov, or calling 1-800-Medicare to enroll in your chosen plan, rather than going through the provider.
Sometimes coding errors can happen with an individual provider that will land you in the wrong plan, she said. “It’s just for your security, to make sure you get what you wanted,” Gary said. There are no incentives offered in enrolling directly with the provider, she said.
After Oct. 15, plans can still change, so make sure your research is up to date when you go to enroll, Gary said. “If you did your research three weeks ago, make sure you have the most up-to-date information,” Gary said.
Check FloridaShine.org’s community events link for on-site enrollment dates, where counselors go with laptops and printers. Just show up with your list of drugs and your insurance cards, and you can get counseling on the spot, and walk out with a comparison of plans, Lemaire said.
“There are a lot of choices here in South Florida,” Sarmiento said. “This is an opportunity to see what else is out there.”