LONG BEACH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SCAN Health Plan is working with California Health Advocates to help people who are turning 65 avoid financial penalties for failing to make timely healthcare coverage decisions. These efforts are focused on educating individuals who are insured through a Covered California plan and will soon become eligible for Medicare.
“As people with a Covered California plan turn 65 and become eligible for Medicare, we are finding that many are not aware of what actions they may need to take,” said Elaine Wong Eakin, executive director of California Health Advocates. “So many continue with their Covered California plan and face penalties later. Unfortunately, there is currently no formal communication to these individuals – from their plan or from Medicare – letting them know the important steps they need to take.”
Through a sponsorship by SCAN, California Health Advocates has developed a four-part series of articles entitled “What to Do if You Have a Covered California Plan and Become Eligible for Medicare.” In addition, California Health Advocates recently offered a webinar entitled “Are You Transitioning From Covered California to Medicare?” The materials are available online on their website and answer such commonly asked questions as:
- Must I enroll in Medicare if I have a Covered California plan?
- What happens to my tax credits when I become eligible for Medicare?
- If I have MAGI Medi-Cal, will my costs go up when I enroll in Medicare?
“We were dismayed to learn that some seniors were being hit with financial penalties that could have easily been avoided had they had the proper information in a timely fashion,” said SCAN’s Lisbeth Roberts, who oversees the company’s team of Senior Advocates—members who work part-time for SCAN, advocating on behalf of their fellow members. “There are many options for Medicare beneficiaries. Our goal is to make sure people have the information they need to make the right decisions that fit their budget and benefit needs and to help them avoid unnecessary penalties.”
Individuals with further questions regarding transitioning from a Covered California plan to Medicare are encouraged to contact the Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) at 1-800-434-0222. HICAP provides community education on Medicare and related healthcare coverage.
SCAN also works year-round to help consumers understand basic Medicare options through informal “Coffee Chats.” SCAN is currently hosting Coffee Chats in Los Angeles, Marin, Orange and Sonoma counties. Coffee Chats are part of SCAN’s community service to educate the community about Medicare and support the work of other reputable organizations that do similar work. To schedule a Coffee Chat, local organizations should call 562-997-3170.
SCAN is one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit Medicare Advantage plans currently serving approximately 170,000 members, including many dual-eligible individuals, throughout California. Further information about SCAN may be obtained at scanhealthplan.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/scanhealthplan.
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