Medicare enrollment sessions offered

Senior citizens receiving Medicare benefits have until Dec. 7 to choose or change a prescription drug plan under Medicare Part D. Representatives from the Southwestern Connecticut Agency on Aging will visit the Wilton Senior Center on Thursday, Nov. 7, to go over options with seniors in one-on-one appointments. The agency is not affiliated with any insurance company and representatives will not be selling anything.

A spokesperson for the Agency on Aging said there are some changes for the coming year, which begins on Jan. 1, 2014. Some plans are not being offered and there are some new companies as well. People on Medicare have many options she said, including traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage.

Those with traditional Medicare and a stand-alone drug plan should check to see if their plan is still a good choice. Sometimes premiums change or the drug coverage changes.

Another change involves United Healthcare, which offers a managed care program under Medicare Advantage. It has dropped 2,000 physicians from its plan, so affected seniors should check to see if their doctors are still in-network.

The Affordable Care Act has enhanced Medicare benefits over the past few years, particularly regarding the prescription drug donut hole. That gap is closing and each year seniors receive a greater discount on their medications, resulting in lower out-of-pocket costs.

The health exchange programs currently enrolling the uninsured have no effect on Medicare.

Appointments for Nov. 7 are available for any Medicare beneficiary who has Medicare Part A or Part B or both. To schedule an appointment at the senior center, call Sharon Powers at 203-834-6238.

— Jeannette Ross