APPRISE is a free State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) for Pennsylvanians on Medicare. The Pennsylvania Department of Aging created APPRISE to help seniors understand their Medicare insurance options and make informed choices that would best meet their needs. Counselors are specially trained volunteers who can answer your questions and provide you with objective, easy-to-understand information about Medicare, Medicare Supplemental Insurance, Medicaid, “Extra Help” Programs, PACE/PACENET.
This project was supported, in part by grant from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.
MEDICARE HOT TOPICS
CMS Reveals New Medicare Card Design CMS Reveals New Medicare Card Design
Removing Social Security numbers strengthens fraud protections for about 58 million Americans
Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) gave the public its first look at the newly designed Medicare card. The new Medicare card contains a unique, randomly-assigned number that replaces the current Social Security-based number.
CMS will begin mailing the new cards to people with Medicare benefits in April 2018 to meet the statutory deadline for replacing all existing Medicare cards by April 2019. In addition to today’s announcement, people with Medicare will also be able to see the design of the new Medicare card in the 2018 Medicare & You Handbook. The handbooks are being mailed and will arrive throughout September.
“The goal of the initiative to remove Social Security numbers from Medicare cards is to help prevent fraud, combat identify theft, and safeguard taxpayer dollars,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “We’re very excited to share the new design.”
CMS has assigned all people with Medicare benefits a new, unique Medicare number, which contains a combination of numbers and uppercase letters. People with Medicare will receive a new Medicare card in the mail, and will be instructed to safely and securely destroy their current Medicare card and keep their new Medicare number confidential. Issuance of the new number will not change benefits that people with Medicare receive.
Healthcare providers and people with Medicare will be able to use secure look-up tools that will allow quick access to the new Medicare numbers when needed. There will also be a 21-month transition period where doctors, healthcare providers, and suppliers will be able to use either their current SSN-based Medicare Number or their new, unique Medicare number, to ease the transition.
This initiative takes important steps towards protecting the identities of people with Medicare. CMS is also working with healthcare providers to answer their questions and ensure that they have the information they need to make a successful transition to the new Medicare number. For more information, please visit: www.cms.gov/newcard
Medicare Beneficiary Survey Will Begin Late Summer
Please be advised, selected Medicare beneficiaries will receive direct contact from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) through the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center (NORC) to conduct either a phone or in-home, in-person contact for the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS). Initial outreach is by mail. If you have a telephone number, they may also be called. The interviewers may also show up at the door to introduce the survey and make appointments to interview. If at any time you question the survey, you can call 1-800-MEDICARE as all of the selected beneficiaries are in the system and you can verify that you were specially selected.
Please see the LINKS below for additional information:
Do you want to know if you are eligible to save some money?
The APPRISE Program wants to make sure you and your loved ones who have Medicare know about the Extra Help and Medicare Savings Programs.
Extra Help can help lower your prescription co-payments and premiums and cover the cost of the coverage gap (“donut hole”)
- If you are single and have total monthly income of less than $1,518/month; and less than $4,100 in resources
- If you are married and have a total monthly income of less than $2,058/month; and less than $28,150 in resources
Medicare Savings Program can help you with the payment of your Part B premium and possibly with the payment of your Medicare Part A and Part B cost-sharing.
- If you are single and have a total monthly income between $1,386/month; and less than $7,560 in resources
- If you are married and have a total monthly income between $1,872/month; and less than $11,340 in resources
There is NO COST for the APPRISE Program’s help or for enrollment into these programs.
APPRISE CAN ALSO HELP WITH:
- Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Part D)
- Medicare Advantage Plans
- Medicare Supplemental Insurance (Medigap)
- Long-Term Care Insurance
- Screening and Applying for financial assistance programs
- Fraud and Abuse
- Medicare Appeals
Call Today! -- (717) 273-9262
By Appointment Only
Individual Counseling with an APPRISE Volunteer.
The volunteers are in Mondays from 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm and on Wednesdays from 9:00-12:00 pm by appointment only. For individual counseling, please call to make an appointment up with an APPRISE volunteer.
The Lebanon County Area Agency on Aging is seeking new volunteers for the APPRISE program. Click the following, APPRISE Volunteers, if you are interested in volunteering for the APPRISE Program.
Merchandiser Article featuring our APPRISE volunteers
APPRISE Events (click here)
Need help with prescription costs and/or Medicare Part B premiums
Free Medicare Monthly Seminar - Medicare 101.
On the first Wednesday of every month the APPRISE Program holds a free seminar on Medicare 101. It is a basic overview of Medicare, Medicare Part D, Supplemental Insurance and Medicare Advantage Plans. This Seminar also covers ways you can get extra help with your prescriptions and/or paying for your Medicare Part B premiums. Please call 717-273-9262 to register.
Pennsylvania Help Law Project (http://www.phlp.org)
PHLP is a nationally recognized expert and consultant on access to health care for low-income consumers, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. For more than two decades, PHLP has engaged in direct advocacy on behalf of individual consumers while working on the kinds of health policy changes that promise the most to the Pennsylvanians in greatest need.
Medicare Annual Open Enrollment Period Changes
Lebanon, Pennsylvania – People with Medicare may see significant changes to Medicare enrollment plans this fall. If they miss the opportunity to make adjustments to their plans now, they will have to wait another year.
Please note the following:
Medicare’s Annual Election Period (AEP) will take place October 15-December 7. Both Part D and Medicare Advantage plan members can make plan changes at this time.
Medicare’s Annual Disenrollment Period (ADP) will take place from January 1-February 15. People with Medicare Advantage (MA) plans will only be able to return to Original Medicare and join a stand-alone prescription drug (Part D) plan.
The following link (page) contains general information on our annual open enrollment period.