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Medicare Advice for 2011 from Senior Advocacy Services

2011 marks the year of the beginning of the “baby boomers” turning age 65 and eligible for Medicare benefits. From articles I’ve read in the newspapers, there are between 8,000 to 10,000 people turning age 65 every day. That’s a large number of people that will be needing assistance in understanding a very complicated subject…Medicare.
HICAP (Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program), a program of Senior Advocacy Services, is continuously scheduling presentations to explain Medicare. Our goal is to reach as many baby boomers as possible giving them the tools to find the answers to their questions and helping them find their way through the maze called “Medicare”.
Changes to Medicare in 2011 include the following:
  1. Preventive Screenings Covered under Medicare Part B: Most preventive tests are now covered at 100% and there is a new Yearly “Wellness” Visit for people who have been on Medicare Part B longer than 12 months;
  2. Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (PDP) (Medicare Part D): If a person reaches the prescription drug “donut hole” (coverage gap), he/she may receive 50% discount on brand-name drugs and 7% discount on generic drugs, depending on the drug plan chosen.
  3. Annual Election Period (AEP):  The Annual Election Period is also known as the Annual Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans. The dates to make your annual change in 2011 is changing to October 15, 2011 through December 7, 2011 with a January 1, 2012 effective date.
If you feel a HICAP Presentation would be beneficial to your senior center, retirement community, senior mobile home park, support group, etc., please email or call me with a few dates and times that will work for your group.  You can reach me at 1-800-434-0222 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              1-800-434-0222      end_of_the_skype_highlighting ext. 104 or email me at JulieB@SeniorAdvocacyServices.org.
For a one-on-one counseling appointment with a HICAP counselor, call Ed Matheson at 1-800-434-0222 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              1-800-434-0222      end_of_the_skype_highlighting or (707) 526-4108 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (707) 526-4108      end_of_the_skype_highlighting ext. 106.
Julie A. Bennett
Community Outreach Specialist
HICAP (Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program)
A Program of Senior Advocacy Services
3262 Airway Drive, Suite C
Santa Rosa, CA  95403
(800) 434-0222 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (800) 434-0222      end_of_the_skype_highlighting Ext. 104
(707) 526-4108 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (707) 526-4108      end_of_the_skype_highlighting Ext. 104

Medi-Cal Vision Care benefits

New vision care benefits are available. See http://www.dhcs.ca.gov/individuals/Pages/VisionCareFAQs.aspx

Help for Hard Times – Resources for Bay Area Residents

Here is a fine, comprehensive guide to services available to San Francisco Bay Area residents, including advice or resources covering a wide array of subjects, including:

 personal budgeting

credit cards, credit repair, credit building

home financing, foreclosure, rental assistance

employment assistance, interview skills and resumes

financial counseling

medical issues

food assistance

family counseling

substance abuse issues

Crisis/Suicide Prevention


Go to http://www.211bayarea.org/ and download the link, “Help for Hard Times….”

Health Savings Accounts

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) were created by the Medicare bill signed by President Bush on December 8, 2003 and are designed to help individuals save for future qualified medical and retiree health expenses on a tax-free basis.

See our website

HICAP: a Senior Advocacy Services Program

HICAP is Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program, a program of Senior Advocacy Services.

HICAP provides seniors and disabled individuals with objective information
about Medicare and other insurance issues, so they can make informed
decisions about their health care coverage. To schedule an informative
presentation on Medicare or one-on-one counseling, please call
1-800-434-0222. (HICAP does not endorse, sell, or recommend any insurance

Also see our website!