DCHS Provides Assistance to Residents to Complete Medicare Open Enrollment

Page updated on Nov 5, 2020 at 8:39 AM

DCHS Provides Assistance to Residents to Complete Medicare Open Enrollment


Medicare Open Enrollment 2020November 2, 2020--Do you or someone you know need assistance with Medicare Open Enrollment? The Department of Community and Human Services can help.

The Medicare health insurance program—for people age 65 or older, or under age 65 with certain disabilities or disease—encourages all enrollees to review their plans  to ensure the plans meet their needs. Open enrollment ends December 7. 

The Virginia Insurance and Counseling Program (VICAP) is providing free, unbiased, individualized counseling to help residents understand and navigate Medicare open enrollment. VICAP counselors can compare plans and help residents understand the benefits. Request more information by calling 703.746.5999. VICAP is based in Aging and Adult Services and is supported by certified volunteers. 

Medicare Part D plans provide prescription drug coverage. These plan members should ensure that their current plans will cover their medications at an affordable cost. Consumers should not assume that plan coverage will remain the same because the medications covered and their costs often change.

Medicare Part C, also called Medicare Advantage Plan, provides all the member’s care at a single cost, similar to a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO). The plan may change the fees for doctors’ appointments, participating specialists and pharmacies, or medications. During open enrollment, plan members can select a new Medicare Advantage plan or cancel Medicare Advantage and return to original Medicare with a Part D plan.

During open enrollment, Medicare beneficiaries can also:

  • Change from Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan

  • Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn't offer drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan that does offer drug coverage

  • Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn't offer drug coverage and select a Part D Plan

  • Join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan

All changes will be effective January 1, 2021. Beneficiaries who are satisfied with their current plans, and whose plans are still available, do not need to take any action.

Initial enrollment in Medicare A and B is based on age, date of birth and other eligibility criteria, and may or may not not take place during open enrollment.

VICAP encourages beneficiaries to be aware of Medicare fraud. Do not accept calls from or provide personal information to persons promising to explain Medicare or offering to sign up for a plan. Carefully read any mail that offers Medicare benefits and call 1.800.MEDICARE (1.800.633.4227) to make plan changes. To report suspected fraud or abuse, call Senior Medicare Patrol at 1.800.938.8885.

Visit alexandriava.gov/Aging for more information about the VICAP navigation service or about Medicare enrollment.