The Sourcewise Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program (HICAP) helps you prioritize your Medicare options and provides unbiased information to help you choose the best plan for you and your family.

Sourcewise HICAP counselors help individuals in Santa Clara County to understand enrollment periods for Medicare Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D. Counselors also educate clients about important enrollment rights and timing when one wishes to purchase or switch Medicare supplement insurance plans (also referred to as Medigap). 
 
Existing Medicare beneficiaries (already enrolled in Part A, Part B or both) have an “Annual Coordinated Election Period” (AEP) every October 15 through December 7. Commonly called “Open Enrollment,” during this period recipients may enroll into, switch, or drop a Medicare Part D drug plan or a Medicare Part C HMO. Changes made in this year’s AEP will take effect on January 1, 2016. 
 
Medicare Advantage Plan members can check their Annual Notice of Change (received in September) in preparation for 2016. Increased costs or decreased benefits for 2016 have triggered guaranteed rights to purchase Medigap plans without medical underwriting. 
 
General enrollment for Medicare Part A/B will take place from January 1, 2016 through March 31, 2016 for individuals who wanted -but missed their chance – to enroll in Medicare Part B or who wish to purchase Part A. Part B coverage will begin July 1, 2016. 
 
Passive enrollment into the pilot project Cal MediConnect will end December 31, 2015. Certain dually eligible Medi-Cal and Medicare recipients may elect to join these plans on their own in 2016.
 
To review your benefits and health care options, call our Health Insurance Counseling specialists at: (408) 350-3200, option 2.

Lung Cancer Screening

Medicare Part B covers lung cancer screening using low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) if the individual meets all the following criteria:

  • Aged 55 to 77
  • No signs or symptoms of lung cancer
  • Current smoker or quit smoking within the past 15 years
  • Tobacco smoking history averaging one pack per day for 20 years (“20 pack-years”)
  • An order from a doctor or healthcare provider

Take advantage of these preventative services offered by Medicare by asking for them for yourself or your loved one. In this way, older adults can reduce their risk of developing substance abuse disorders or mitigate its effects to maintain healthier lifestyles.

References

  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020, July). Substance use in older adults drugfacts. Substance Use in Older Adults DrugFacts | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) (nih.gov)
  2. gov. (n.d.). Preventive & screening services. preventive services (medicare.gov)

 

This project was supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $94,686 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.