(For more on the national implications of health care reform on United States Medicare, and information on other Medicare issues, see theabcsofmedicare blog here.)
AARP of course wants to sell you Medicare insurance and anyone that sells anything wants to sell you something sooner rather than later. That's why you should be very leery of a recent AARP Medicare advertisement from a Mr. Festa of AARP Massachusetts dressed up to look like a magazine article and appearing in various Massachusetts publications. Mr. Festa says:
"This is the one chance the nearly one million Medicare beneficiaries in Massachusetts have to review and make changes to their coverage for the year ahead."
That statement is not true.
- Those of you on Social Security Exta Help can change every month if you want.
- Those of you on Massachusetts' Prescription Advantage, the state's pharmacy assistance program, can change at least one other time during the year if you want (and 75% of you are eligible for Prescription Advantage).
On the other hand, if you get your drug coverage from a former employer or union (and 30% of you get some kind of coverage from a former employer or union), you have to change when your former employer or union says so. It may or may not be between October 15 and December 7. And even it falls between these two dates, you may not have the whole seven weeks to make up your mind.