The Medicare open enrollment for the general population wrapped up Dec. 7.
However, state retiree or teacher retirees needed to make their health plan selection and enroll in the new Total Retiree Advantage Illinois (otherwise known as TRAIL), by Dec. 13. Retirees remained active with their current health coverage until Jan. 31. New coverage began Feb. 1 with either the chosen Medicare Advantage Plan offered through Total Retiree Advantage Illinois or if no plan was selected by Dec. 13, they were automatically enrolled in original Medicare as of Feb. 1. Note that original Medicare does not cover prescription medication administered outside of a hospital or doctor’s office.
Retirees who want to have prescription drug coverage need to enroll in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan by Feb. 14. Senior Services Plus has certified SHIP (Senior Health Insurance Program) counselors who are trained to help people enroll in a Part D plan. Appointments are available at (618) 465-3298 ext. 110 or 115. SSP also has the current Medicare Supplement guide if retirees would like to pick up a copy. Medicare supplements are optional plans to cover what original Medicare and Part D do not cover. For example, Medicare typically covers 80 percent and a Medicare supplement would cover all or part of the remaining 20 percent.
It is recommended for state or teacher retirees affected by the new plan coverage who did not select a plan by Dec. 13 to consider a Medicare Part D-Prescription Drug Plan or regular Medicare Advantage Plan and must make this selection and enroll by Feb. 14. Senior Services Plus can help people look at Medicare Prescription Drug plans or Advantage Plans by calling (618) 465-3298 ext. 110 or 115. For information regarding the Total Retiree Advantage Illinois plans, call the enrolled-in plan.