Medicare Annual Enrollment: Free, Unbiased Help

Choosing a Medicare Plan Can Be Confusing. Choosing the Wrong Plan Can Be Costly.

Medicare Annual Enrollment is happening from October 15 – December 7. It’s the time of year when people already enrolled in Medicare can make changes and choice for the upcoming year. During this time, beneficiaries can:

  • Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan, or vice versa
  • Make choices about Part D Prescription plans

During this time of year, beneficiaries mailboxes and inboxes can get inundated with Medicare sales pitches. It can get overwhelming and confusing. And the stakes are high. Beneficiaries who don’t choose wisely can end up overspending by hundreds — or even thousands of dollars — each year.

Michigan Medicare Assistance Program Offers Free Help With No Sales Pitch

The Michigan Medicare Assistance Program (MMAP) is a nonprofit program designated to offer beneficiaries free and impartial guidance. It’s funded by federal and state grants (from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services – the Administration for Community Living, and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services), so it’s not associated with any plan and does not have anything to sell. It’s just there to help. Its team of highly trained and certified volunteers can help people understand their choices and sort through the confusion.

Tips to Help Medicare Beneficiaries Make Sure They’re Getting the Best Coverage for Their situation and Budget

The program suggests that people thoroughly review their plan choices every year. They find that many people just sign up for the plan they had last year, or sign up for whatever plan their friend or neighbor has, or choose a plan that’s being hocked by a celebrity spokesperson they like. That can be a costly mistake. The plan that’s right for you is going to depend on your unique situation. Even the specific medications you take can make a difference.

The MMAP team offers these tips to help people make sure they’re getting the plan that’s right for them:

  1. Thoroughly review your plan choices every year.
  2. Make sure the plan you’re choosing covers all the medications you take.
  3. Choose a plan based on YOUR needs (don’t just go with what your friend/neighbor has).
  4. Don’t just go with the plan you had last year. Even if it worked well, plans can change. Make sure you thoroughly understand the Annual Notice of Change (mailed by your plan in September) to understand the difference in coverages and costs for next year.
  5. Look at BOTH the plan’s premium and drug costs. You could pay more overall if you only consider premium.
  6. Review your plan choices annually. Even if you’ve been happy with your plan—coverage and costs can change.

Meet One-on-One with an Impartial Volunteer Counselor

Throughout Annual Enrollment, the volunteers from the AgeWays’s MMAP team are offering free, individual counseling to walk people through their choices. People can meet with a MMAP volunteer by phone, Zoom, or in-person. The team is holding in-person assistance day events at different community venues in Livingston, Macomb, Oakland, and Wastenaw counties. To find one in your neighborhood, download the full list of our MMAP Annual Enrollment Assistance Events or visit our events page.  You will need to make an appointment in advance, even for in-person events. You can make an appointment by calling MMAP at 800-803-7174. 

Get More Information at a Free Webinar

We are also hosting a free webinar on October 18 at 10:30 am. Our MMAP team will be taking a deep dive into What’s New for Medicare: 2024.  We hope you’ll join us! Advance registration is required:

Flyer for Free MMAP Webinar: What's New in Medicare 2024

More Information and Resources
For more information and Resources, visit our Medicare Medicaid Help section.