News from the Reference Desk Category: Insurance

Help with Medicare

medicare open enrollment, October 15 through December 7

The Medicare Open Enrollment period is coming soon. Between October 15 and December 7, 2022 those people 65 and over can sign up for Medicare or change the plans they currently have.

If you need a little guidance, Mount Prospect Public Library is hosting two programs that might help. On Wednesday, October 5 at 11 am, at the program Choosing Your Medicare Supplement Policy Tom Kilkenny from Weiss Financial Ratings will provide information about Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap). Learn how to use the Financial Rating Series Online web resource to help you identify hidden costs, compare prices, and choose the best plan. Kilkenny will also demonstrate how to get a customized pricing report for free with your library card. 

At the program Understanding Medicare on Thursday, October 13 at 7 pm, Medicare specialist John Larson will explain in detail Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, and prescription drug coverage. Learn important information about how to choose the right plan for you. Larson is a local independent insurance broker with 50 years of experience who specializes in Medicare coverage.

Both of these programs are in-person. You can register for these and other Library programs by going to the Library’s online calendar or by calling the Library at 847-253-5675.

For additional information about Medicare, go to the main Medicare website medicare.gov.

Medicare Open Enrollment

Open enrollment for Medicare D (prescription drugs) begins October 15 and runs through December 7. Changes in premiums, co-pays, deductibles and drugs covered for all drug plans may change from year to year.  Assistance with the enrollment process is available through the Village. Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) volunteers and staff use a tool from the Medicare website to help participants determine which plan is best for the coming year. They will also assess whether participants are eligible for extra help with plan premiums and co-pays. To schedule an appointment to enroll or review current plans,  call 847/870-5680. There is limited availability for appointments so calling sooner than later is advised.

For additional guidance you may want to look at the Medigap Report from Weiss Ratings. This is an online resource to which the Library subscribes. The Report provides users with a lengthy, customized report outlining all of the various Medicare supplements including Part D. It also includes costs and ratings for each provider. You can access this resource here.

Insurance Calculators

ValChoice, an independent data analytics company focused on the U.S. insurance industry, is offering our patrons unlimited access to online calculators, insurance company ratings, tutorials and “how-to” videos, worksheets, and other tools designed to help users understand how insurance—such as car and home insurance—is priced, and how to decide on policies based on their age, deductibles, coverage limits, and other factors.

This Illinois car insurance estimator lets you calculate auto insurance costs customized to your age, location, driving record, vehicle, etc. Your personal information is only used to calculate insurance price.

Use this Illinois home insurance calculator to estimate home insurance costs based on home replacement value and location. Your personal information is only used to calculate insurance price.

Educational videos that can guide you on how to use these calculators can be located here.

The New Medicare ID Cards

In the last few months, new Medicare ID cards have been sent to recipients across the United States.  As several policies change and the amount of scams targeting Medicare users increase significantly, staying informed is paramount to maintaining good health and safe accounts.  Take a look at these AARP articles detailing information about the new IDs and potential scams centered around them:

MEDICARE ID CARDS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

MEDICARE ID SCAMS

AARP: Beware of New Medicare Card Scam!