On November 8 from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm, Elyse Drucker, SHIP Coordinator for Union County, will be on hand to discuss changes to Medicare plans for 2013.  Open enrollment for changes to your 2013 Medicare prescription drug plans (Part D) and Medicare managed care plans (Advantage Plus Plans) is between October 15 and December 7 this year.

During the program, SHIP (State Health Insurance Assistance Program) counselors will be available to help beneficiaries find plans that best suit their personal needs.  This session is also being offered on November 28 from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm.  Both sessions will take place at SAGE Eldercare, 290 Broad Street, Summit.

If you are 65 years or older or under 65 with certain disabilities, then you qualify for Medicare health insurance.  The different parts of Medicare help cover specific services – part A covers hospital insurance; part B covers doctor’s visits; part C is also known as Medicare Advantage and offers health plan options run by Medicare-approved private insurance companies; and, part D covers Medicare prescription drugs.

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“During the Medicare open enrollment period, it is a good idea to reassess your coverage and costs, which can change yearly.  Even if your current Medicare advantage plan and your drug prescription benefits are working for you, it’s a good idea to check your plan annually,” stated Elyse Drucker, Union County SHIP Coordinator at SAGE.  “The only way to save on your health care costs is compare the current plan to other Medicare plans available to you, either offered by your current insurer or other health insurance companies.”

It is also recommended that you obtain advice and guidance from someone who is not affiliated with a particular health care insurance company so that you can compare plans.  Personalized Medicare counseling is available, free of charge, from SHIP counselors.


SAGE Eldercare serves as the SHIP representative for Union County.  Staff and volunteers are available for free, personalized, confidential and objective Medicare counseling on decisions about coverage; help with claims, billing, or appeals; and provide information on programs for people with limited income and resources, as well as to help you reassess your 2013 coverage.

To register for the free program, which is open to the public, call 908.598.5548 or emaileducation@sageeldercare.org.  SAGE Eldercare SHIP counselors can be reached at 908.273.6999 or by email atship@sageeldercare.org.  If you live outside Union County, visit www.medicare.gov/contacts or call 1‑800‑MEDICARE to get the phone numbers of SHIP representatives in other NJ counties or in other U.S. states.