AGING SERVICES: Medicare Open Enrollment Period Began October 15

What is CHOICES?

Connecticut’s program for Health insurance assistance, Outreach, Information and referral, Counseling, Eligibility Screening.

Special Announcements and Events:
  • Medicare General Enrollment Period is January 1-March 31, 2017. If you did not sign up for Medicare Part A and/or Part B during your Initial Enrollment Period, and don’t qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, then you may sign up at this time. Your coverage will begin in July 1, 2017 and you may have to pay higher premiums due to enrolling late. To sign up for Medicare, you may enroll online or go to your local Social Security Administration office. To learn about Medicare benefits and programs that may help you lower your Medicare costs like the Medicare Savings Program and the Low Income Subsidy/Extra Help, please contact CHOICES at 1-800-994-9422.
  • Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period is January 1-February 14, 2017. If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can dis-enroll and switch back to Original Medicare and join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan during this time period. Your coverage will begin the first day of the month after your new plan receives the enrollment request. Please note during this period, you may not switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan or from one Medicare Advantage plan to another one. You are also not able to switch from one Medicare Prescription Drug plan to another one. However, beneficiaries who have the Medicare Savings Program, or those on the Low Income Subsidy/Extra Help, can make changes to their Medicare plans throughout the year. To review your benefits and options, please call CHOICES, 1-800-994-9422 for assistance.
  • CHOICES has partnered with NAMI-CT to provide Medicare Presentations for beneficiaries who are New to Medicare. Beneficiaries and caregivers who attend the presentation will be able to learn valuable information about Medicare benefits and options.
  • If you would like to attend a Medicare presentation, connect with a certified CHOICES counselor or learn more about CHOICES call 1-800-994-9422. If your group or agency would like CHOICES to provide a presentation about Medicare benefits and options, contact one of the CHOICES Regional Coordinator’s listed below.
  • Counselors make a difference! Learn more about becoming a volunteer CHOICES Certified Counselor.   

The CHOICES Program:
  • Provides information to persons age 60 and older and persons with disabilities.
  • Is a cooperative program of the State of Connecticut Department on Aging, the Area Agencies on Aging, and the Center for Medicare Advocacy.
  • Is comprised of both staff, in-kind professionals from local service agencies and volunteers.
  • Is also known as the CT SHIP or State Health Insurance Assistance Program.
  • Is funded by the Administration for Community Living, US Department of Health and Human Services and the Administration on Aging through the Older Americans Act.  

Information on Health Insurance Assistance:
• CHOICES provides information and assistance about Medicare and other related health insurance options including:

Original Medicare Medicare Prescription Drug Plans
Medicare Supplement Insurance
Medicaid/Benefits that work with Medicare
Medicare Managed Care Insurance Long-term Care Insurance
New to Medicare - enrollment dates and informaiton
Transitioning to Medicare from   other benefits

Information and Referral
• CHOICES is a “one-stop shopping” information source for services available to older adults.  Referrals to appropriate agencies is another offering which enables individuals to access needed services.  Area Agencies on Aging provide direction to local service providers who can specifically address any one of the following  problems or concerns that older persons and their families may be encountering:
Adult Day Care   Financial Assistance   Home Care
Respite Care  Legal Assistance  Nursing Homes
Housing Options  Elder Abuse  Transportation

Eligibility Screening
• Area Agency on Aging staff provide information and preliminary screening for more than 20 federal and state benefit programs.  Actual eligibility determinations for benefits and programs can only be made through a formal application process with the appropriate federal, state, or local agency managing program.  Programs include:

Supplemental Security Income   Caregiver Programs
Medicare Savings Programs: QMB, SLMB, ALMB
Energy Assistance
Connecticut Home Care Program    Medicaid

To connect with a certified CHOICES Counselor in your area, please contact the CHOICES Regional Coordinator:

  • Eastern, Middlesex, Shoreline areas of CT-
    Laura Crews, 860-887-3561 ext 129
    Senior Resources Agency on Aging
  • North Central areas of CT-
    Cynthia Del Favero, 860-724-6443 ext 251
    North Central Area Agency on Aging
  • South Central areas of CT-
    Leslie Pruitt, 203-785-8533 ext 3165
    Agency on Aging of South Central CT
  • Southwestern areas of CT-
    Sharon Gesek, 203-814-3686
    Southwestern CT Agency on Aging
  • Western areas of CT
    Magaly Bravo, 203-757-5449
    Western CT Area Agency on Aging

Content Last Modified on 1/13/2017 12:09:55 PM