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TCOG Readies Benefits Counselors for Medicare Open Enrollment

News Release
For Immediate Release

TCOG Readies Benefits Counselors for Medicare Open Enrollment

Become better informed of the available choices before making a decision on a Medicare plan for 2019 by contacting one of our Area Agency on Aging counselors.

Eric M. Bridges, Executive Director

SHERMAN, OCTOBER 12, 2018 – TCOG officials have announced they are preparing to ramp up their availability to assist Medicare recipients throughout Cooke, Fannin and Grayson counties for the upcoming Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) which spans from October 15 – December 7.

“AEP is the time of year when ALL people with Medicare can compare insurance plans to make sure they have the right health and prescription drug coverage for the next year,” stated Judy Conner, director of the Area Agency on Aging of Texoma. “A person can choose to stay with their current plan or look for a new plan with better coverage, higher quality and lower costs.”

If a person does switch to a new plan, the new coverage will begin January 1, 2019. Officials also stated that it is important to remember that if a person makes the choice to continue with their current plan, any changes to coverage under that plan or any cost increase will also begin at the start of the new year.

Changes to various aspects of Medicare coverage can include:

  • Switching from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage or from one Advantage Plan to another;
  • Switching from one Medicare Part D plan (prescription drug) to another; and
  • Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act – MIPPA, which helps identify eligibility for extra help programs.

“Become better informed of the available choices before making a decision on a Medicare plan for 2019,” urged TCOG Executive Director Eric Bridges, adding, “Area Agency on Aging counselors are available to give free, personalized Medicare counseling and assist in the selection of the best plan that will meet medical and prescription needs for each individual.”

The Texoma Council of Governments is a voluntary association of the local governments in Cooke, Fannin, and Grayson counties. Established in 1968, Texoma Council of Governments promotes economy and efficiency in the coordinated planning and development of the tri-county region through its community and economic development activities. Both directly and through contractors, the Council provides housing, utility assistance, and weatherization services for low-income citizens in the region and assists the elderly through a variety of Area Agency on Aging programs. The Council also facilitates the delivery of grant funding for homeland security and criminal justice.