Medicare Advantage open enrollment now underway, free insurance counseling available through PA MEDI

    The Pennsylvania Department of Aging reminds Medicare beneficiaries that the annual Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period runs from January 1st to March 31st. During this time, beneficiaries who currently have a Medicare Advantage plan can switch to a different plan or to original Medicare. Changes to their enrollment will take effect on the first of the month following the month in which they enroll.

    Pennsylvania Medicare Education and Decision Insight (PA MEDI), Pennsylvania’s Medicare counseling program, is available through local Area Agencies on Aging to help beneficiaries with Medicare questions. Older adults can receive unbiased, no-cost Medicare assistance from trained PA MEDI counselors who can walk them through their options to assist in making informed health insurance decisions that optimize their cost savings and access to health care and benefits. 

    Medicare Advantage is a Medicare-approved plan from a private company that offers an alternative to original Medicare for health and drug coverage. These “bundled” plans include Part A Hospital Insurance, Part B Medical Insurance, and usually Part D Drug Coverage.

    “From year to year, Medicare Advantage plans can change their premiums, cost-sharing arrangements, and their selection of covered drugs and supplemental benefits, as well as provider networks and prior authorization requirements. Choosing the right Medicare Advantage Plan can be challenging. PA MEDI is here to help! We help you compare plans, look for cost savings, and even help you enroll in a plan that best fits your needs,” said Susan Neff, PA MEDI director. “PA MEDI counselors can also help determine if you may be eligible for any of Pennsylvania’s Medicare cost-savings programs like PACE, Extra Help, and the Medicare Savings Programs.” 

    PA MEDI counselors do not sell Medicare insurance products, nor do they endorse any insurance company, product, or agent. Counselors will not recommend policies, companies, or insurance agents but will provide free, confidential, and unbiased personalized assistance.

    Older adults can contact their local Area Agency on Aging to schedule a personalized counseling session. For more information, call the toll-free PA MEDI Helpline at 1-800-783-7067 from 8:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday. To find a PA MEDI event or presentation, visit

    Learn more about the various programs offered by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging here and on the Department of Aging’s Facebook page

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