VPAS Medicare Insurance Counselors Can Help During Open Enrollment Period

According to a press release from Valley Program for Aging Services, it’s time to review your Medicare drug plan.  Most people who receive Medicare benefits also have prescription drug coverage, either through a stand-alone “Part D” plan or through a Medicare Advantage plan. No two of these plans are alike, the plan that’s best for your spouse, friend or neighbors might not be right for you, and all of these plans can change their costs and benefits each year. Generally, the only time enrollment in plans can be changed is during Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period of October 15 to December 7 every year.

If you have begun taking new prescriptions, have stopped taking old prescriptions, or one of the medications you take is newly available as a generic, it’s important to see which of the dozens of available plans is the best fit for you. Even if you are happy with the plan you have now, there is no guarantee that it will have the same costs and coverage in 2023.

The Medicare Plan Finder website has recently been completely redesigned, and takes somewhat more time and understanding to navigate. Valley Program for Aging Services’ state-certified Medicare Insurance Counselors are ready to help. The staff and volunteers provide personalized, confidential, unbiased information that allows you to make the best decision for your situation. They don’t work for insurance companies, pharmacies, or others that have a financial interest in which plan you pick. Their only interest is in helping you find the best fit.

Appointments with VPAS counselors can be arranged to occur in person, by phone, or by email. When making an appointment, please have your Medicare card and your other insurance cards available. You will also be asked to furnish a list of the prescriptions you are currently using prior to your appointment.

While VPAS does not charge for this service, contributions are gratefully accepted to sustain the program, which receives very little federal or state funding.

The seven-week Open Enrollment Period starts October 15; it is generally the only time you will be able to change your plan until next year. To make an appointment with a VPAS Medicare Insurance Counselor, in Highland County call Ashley Hutchinson at 540-468-1975 and in Bath County call Bath Community Hospital at 540-839-7142.


Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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