Saturday, July 31, 2021

Play

Educators' unions call for efforts to ensure in-person learning keeps students, teachers, families, and staff safe; and an update on hate crimes by state.

Play

Congress passes Capitol security funding; House Freedom Caucus members want Cheney, Kinzinger out of GOP conference; Schumer closes a deal to advance $3.5 trillion reconciliation package; and a new report says investor-owned utilities try to block rooftop solar.

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

In addition to roof repairs and other home improvements to lower utility bills, a Michigan League for Public Policy report recommends expanding utility-shutoff protections to include households with young children. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

LANSING, Mich. - High utility costs are a major burden for Michigan's low-income residents, and a new study says they have an impact on their health…


Environment

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A new report shows an effort by investor-owned utilities in the Sunshine State to block the growth of rooftop solar. The …

Health and Wellness

By Troy Pierson / Broadcast version by Mary Schuermann reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration. As marijuana becomes more …


Across the United States, 46 states have laws allowing for harsher punishment for crimes based on bias. (Ludk/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

SALT LAKE CITY - With rising numbers of people targeted in hate crimes and related violence, a new report analyzes the hate-crime laws in each state…

Social Issues

BOSTON - Educators' unions are calling on the state to support their efforts to ensure in-person learning in the fall keeps students, teachers…

More than 3 million adults nationwide are at risk of eviction in the next two months, after a federal eviction moratorium expires tomorrow, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's Household Pulse Survey. (HeatherPaque/Pixabay)

Social Issues

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Millions of Americans soon could find eviction notices on their front doors, but New Mexico renters will not be among them - as …

Health and Wellness

CONCORD, N.H. - New Hampshire advocates for affordable healthcare access want Congress to lower prescription costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate …

Social Issues

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. -- With many Virginians still experiencing pandemic-related unemployment, students at a state community college were able to get …

 

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