DeLuca reminds Medicare beneficiaries that open enrollment ends Dec. 7

Urges residents to assess plans, consider free insurance counseling

HARRISBURG, Oct. 29 – As Democratic chairman of the House Insurance Committee, state Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny, is reminding all Medicare beneficiaries that open enrollment is going on now through Dec. 7.

“This is an important period, because it gives beneficiaries a chance to assess whether they’re getting what they need from their plans and, if necessary, to change their plans and prescription drug coverage to better suit their needs,” DeLuca said.

Any changes will take effect at the start of the new year.

Additionally, the in-network relationship between UPMC and Highmark will end after June 30, 2019. DeLuca said that Medicare beneficiaries should plan accordingly now.

“When you’re choosing a health insurance plan, be sure to ask your insurer if you will have in-network access to the providers and hospitals you want,” he said. “It’s important to review all supplemental plans before making choices because some may provide patients coverage for both UPMC and Highmark hospitals/doctors.”

DeLuca added that if residents seem overwhelmed by the choices, there is an excellent resource they can turn to for help: APPRISE – Pennsylvania’s free health insurance counseling program – helps Medicare beneficiaries explore their options and make the health insurance coverage decisions that are best for them. Beneficiaries can call and schedule an appointment to meet one-on-one, free of charge, with a specially trained counselor to receive answers to questions, obtain enrollment assistance or get help with other health insurance-related concerns. 

For more information on APPRISE, Allegheny County residents can call the program at (800) 783-7067 or contact Wesley Family Services at (412) 661-1438. They also can visit the state Department of Aging’s webpage here or the Allegheny County Health Insurance Counseling webpage here.