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Passages HICAP offers free workshops

The annual enrollment period for Part D drug plans and Part C Medicare Advantage plans begins Oct. 15 and will end Dec. 7.

PASSAGES Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program (HICAP) is providing several community workshops titled “What’s New with Medicare in 2020” to help Medicare beneficiaries make the best choice possible for their health care needs in the coming year.

These workshops will explain changes in Medicare — plus information about drug plans, which plans will remain in the area, which plans will be leaving, and will also answer questions about Medicare Advantage plans.

One major change that people with Medicare will need to consider is to establish an account with a login and password on mymedicare.gov. This will allow them, and people who assist them, to do a personalized plan comparison. This is a major change that in prior years a Medicare account was not required.

HICAP has scheduled the following workshops:

Chico: Thursday, Oct. 17, and Thursday, Nov. 14, 10 a.m. – noon, Lakeside Pavilion, 2565 Lakeside Dr., and Monday, Dec. 2, 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Enloe Conference Center, 5th and Esplanade.

Oroville: Thursday, Nov. 7, 10 – 11:30 a.m., Oroville Senior Nutrition, 1335 Myers St.

Orland: Monday, Oct. 28, 11 a.m. – noon, Orland Senior Nutrition, 19 Walker St.

Willows: Tuesday, Oct. 29, 11 a.m. – noon, Willows Senior Nutrition, 556 E. Sycamore St.

Corning: Friday, Nov. 1, 11 a.m. – noon, Corning Senior Nutrition, 1015 Fourth St.

Red Bluff: Tuesday, Oct. 22 and Tuesday, Nov. 12, 1 – 3 p.m., Red Bluff Community & Senior Center, 1500 S. Jackson St.

Registration required

Ronda Kramer, HICAP program director, wants Medicare beneficiaries to know that the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period should not be confused with the Covered California Insurance Exchange enrollment period. She warns beneficiaries to be on the alert for insurance agents using aggressive tactics to sell health insurance. Misinforming beneficiaries would be considered fraud. Fraudsters are very active this time of year.

Choosing healthcare coverage is a very personal decision and should not be influenced by strong marketing tactics.

If a group or agency would like a workshop, contact Tatiana Fassieux at 898-6717. HICAP does not sell or endorse any insurance products.

PASSAGES helps older adults and family caregivers with important services to empower them to remain confident in their ability to sustain and enjoy independent lives. For more information about PASSAGES services go to www.passagescenter.org.

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