Seniors who are three months shy of their 65th birthday, and those wanting to make changes to their Medicare choices, will be able to do so Oct. 15 through Dec. 7 during the annual open enrollment period for Medicare.
Adults younger than 65 who have certain disabilities can also sign up for medical coverage during open enrollment.
There will be plenty of information about the upcoming enrollment period at CrossRoadsNews’ sixth annual Seniors/Baby Boomers Expo taking place noon to 5 p.m. on the Mall at Stonecrest’s lower level.
Title sponsor Kaiser Permanente, which serves 1.5 million Medicare enrollees in its Senior Advantage HMO, will provide information and take questions about various Medicare options.
Kaiser staff will also share dates, times and locations of KP’s “Straight-Talk” seminars, and schedule appointments for enrollment, which begins Oct. 15.
Christel Finley, Kaiser Permanente’s Medicare & Medicaid sales specialist, said seniors have a seven month window to make selections from Medicare Part A, B, C & D plans.
Medicare, created on July 30, 1965, when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed amendments to the Social Security Act, is managed by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid of the Department of Health and Human Services.
- Part A – Hospital Coverage
- Part B – Medical Coverage
- Part C – Advantage, in which seniors buy coverage through a private health plan, and
- Part D – Prescription Drug Plan.
Each year, newly eligible seniors can sign up for original Medicare during open enrollment.
Because Medicare Parts A and B do not cover all medical costs, eligible seniors can buy more coverage through Medicare-approved private health plans, called “Medicare Advantage” plans like Permanente’s Senior Advantage which offers coverage for Parts A, B, C & D.
KP’s Senior Advantage is one of more than five Medicare Advantage providers in Georgia. Seniors can enroll up to three months before their 65th birthday, during their birthday month, or three months after their birthday.
Finley, who will provide details about their Senior Advantage plan from the expo’s Main Stage at 3 p.m., says seniors who are enrolling for the first time, and those who want to drop, switch, or change their coverage, should consider Kaiser Permanente.
She says KP’s Senior Advantage offers a one-stop integrated care system.
“It is a zero-premium plan,” she said. “We offer primary care, labs, Xray and pharmacy under one roof.”
For 2018, Kaiser Permanente received a 4.5-stars out of a possible 5 stars from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid which rates all private Advantage Plans.
Medicare coverage secured during the annual open enrollment period becomes effect Jan. 1, 2019.
Eligible seniors who don’t enroll during open enrollment, and don’t have coverage from an employer, face a 10 percent penalty.
For more information, visit kp.org/medicare.
Medicare Straight Talk sessions
Kaiser Permanente is hosting 38 Straight Talk sessions in DeKalb County starting on Oct. 8.
In DeKalb County, sessions will be held between Oct. 8 and Dec. 3 at its three medical centers in Decatur, Stonecrest and Tucker, and at the Stonecrest Holiday Day Inn Express, the Porter Sanford Center for the Performing Arts, and the Lou Walker Senior Center.
Here’s the list of scheduled seminars:
• KP Crescent Medical Center
200 Crescent Center Pkwy
Tucker, GA 30084
Oct. 8 at noon
Oct. 18 at 10 a.m.
Nov. 19 at 10 a.m.
• KP Panola Medical Center
5440 Hillandale Drive
Stonecrest, GA 30058
Oct. 9 at 10 a.m.
Oct. 16 at 10 a.m. & 6 p.m.
Nov. 6 10 a.m. & 2 p.m.
Nov. 13 at noon
Nov. 20 at 4 p.m.
Dec. 7 at 10 a.m.
• KP Stonecrest Medical Center
8011 Mall Parkway
Stonecrest, GA 30038
Oct. 10 at 11 a.m.
Oct. 17 at 4 p.m.
Nov. 7 at 10 a.m. & 2 p.m.
Nov.14 at 10 a.m. & 2 p.m.
Nov. 28 at 10 a.m.
• Porter Sanford Performing Arts Center
3181 Rainbow Drive
Decatur, Ga 30034
Oct. 11 at 10 a.m. & 1 p.m.
Oct. 30 at 10 a.m. & 2 p.m.
Nov. 5 at 1 p.m.
Nov. 17 at 11 a.m.
Nov. 29 at 4 p.m.
Dec. 5 at 10 a.m. & 2 p.m.
• Holiday Inn Express Stonecrest
7846 Stonecrest Square
Stonecrest, GA 30038
Nov. 3 at 10 a.m. & 1 p.m.
• Lou Walker Senior Center
2538 Panola Rd
Stonecrest, GA 30058
Oct. 15 at noon
Nov. 12 at 1 p.m.
• Piccadilly Restaurant - Decatur
2801 Candler Rd 21
Decatur, GA 30034
Oct. 17 at noon
Nov. 1 at noon
Dec. 3 at noon
Space is limited. Register daily 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 1-877-925-9210.
For more information, call 404-895-8985.