Saturday, August 13, 2022

Play

Voting-rights groups sue AZ to block 'Election Security' Bills; U.S House vote expected today on the new Inflation Reduction Act; the Attorney General moves to release details on search of Trump s home.

Play

Local election officials detail how election misinformation is fueling threats; Media outlets ask a court to unseal the search warrant of Donald Trump's home; and the CDC changes its approach to COVID-19.

Play

Infrastructure funding is on its way, ranchers anticipate money from the Inflation Reduction Act, and rural America is becoming more diverse, but you wouldn't know it by looking at the leadership.

New Insurance Exchanges Confuse Illinois Elders

Play

Monday, September 23, 2013   

CHICAGO - October will be an important month for health care in Illinois and around the nation. Beginning October 1, people without health insurance will be able to sign up for coverage through new online health exchanges. However, according to associate state director Courtney Hedderman of AARP Illinois, all the publicity about the exchanges is confusing people who need Medicare.

"People are seeing those messages, like, 'Wait, do I need to do something?' And they don't," she said. "That has nothing to do with Medicare."

The problem is that on October 1 the online exchanges open, and then on October 15 the Medicare open-enrollment period begins. That's why Medicare is sending out thousands of brochures and training counselors to advise elders in Illinois and around the nation to ignore the online health exchanges. Instead, if they want to make changes or sign up for Medicare, they should contact the Department on Aging, their local Social Security office, or go to Medicare.gov to find a counselor who can advise them.

Hedderman said con artists already have started trying to take advantage of the confusion by doing things like calling on the phone and pretending to be from Medicare or Social Security.

"People were calling, and they're saying, 'This is Medicare calling, and we need your Social Security number.' No, they already have your Social Security number," the AARP official said. "You don't need to be giving that."

During the open-enrollment period that starts October 15, Medicare recipients can review or change their supplemental coverage through the many counselors who are not trying to sell anything.

"If someone lives in the city, for example, they can call 311 and they will be connected to the Department on Aging. That's a trusted entity that has counselors that can help navigate all of this."

Hedderman said to remember that SHIP counselors are trained to help elders figure out Medicare. The acronym SHIP stands for the State Health Insurance Program, which offers free counseling for Medicare recipients and their caregivers through the Illinois Department on Aging. Illinoisans who are about to turn 65 should contact their local Social Security office to sign up for Medicare. They need to do that three months before their birthday because if they sign up later than that, unless they have other coverage, they may be charged higher premiums.

More information is at Medicare.gov and at state.il.us.




get more stories like this via email

Since the 2020 election, at least 19 states have passed 34 laws restrict­ing access to voting, according to the Brennan Center For Justice. (Orlowiski Designs/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Voting-rights advocates are suing the state of Arizona over new regulations they say make it harder for some people to register and would block thousa…


Social Issues

New Hampshire ranks second in the country on measures of child well-being, according to the new 2022 Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey …

Social Issues

Massachusetts ranks first in the nation for children's well-being, according to the 2022 Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation…


While there are continued disparities, an annual report says Minnesota has seen progress in elevating kids out of poverty, with 12% of children falling into that category. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Minnesota once again gets a high ranking among states for child well-being, but an annual report says the state's disparities remain a challenge…

Social Issues

Some measurements of children's well-being show warning signs in Iowa in the area of education. The numbers contrast with Iowa's overall ranking in a …

Pictured in the center is Francine "Fran" Pace, one of 11 graduates of this summer's Youth Leadership Academy for Iowans with disabilities. (Photo courtesy of DD Council).

Health and Wellness

Nearly a dozen Iowa youths with disabilities are taking newly developed leadership skills out into the world. A summer academy wrapped up this month…

Environment

A coalition of community organizations teamed up in Oregon to force a chronic polluter out of business, and bring environmental justice to a nearby …

Health and Wellness

During National Health Center Week, health-care advocates are highlighting the work Community Health Centers are doing to improve access to care …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021