Senior Connection

Nov 6, 2009


Human services advocates are bracing for details of cuts to Medicaid programs they say the Patrick administration may announce Friday. Officials from several human services organizations say the details of proposed cuts are still uncertain but fear that subsidized Medicaid plans may see co-pay increases and personal care attendant hours for eligible patients may be reduced. The officials are preparing to pepper the administration with letters, should Gov. Deval Patrick pull the trigger on the cuts, a possibility they said was up in the air Friday afternoon. Officials in the Executive Office of Health and Human Services did not respond to requests for comment. Patrick cut nearly $82 million from health and human services programs during an October round of budget cuts aimed at partially closing a $600 million midyear spending imbalance. Developing 12:06 P.M.

Nov 5, 2009

Need Help Understanding 2010 Medicare Plans?

We are in the middle of the Medicare Annual Open Enrollment period, which lasts until December 31. During this time, all Medicare beneficiaries can change their Medicare health coverage as well as their Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Part D Plans).

Some Medicare Advantage plans will no longer be offered in 2010. If you are in one of these plans, you must choose a new plan. In most cases if you do nothing, in January you will be put back in Original Medicare with no drug coverage. If you have any questions on your Medicare Advantage Plan feel free to contact us and we will assist you with selecting another plan.

If you have a Medicare Stand Alone Drug Plan, you need to check that your drugs will continue to be covered by your drug plan and how much they will cost you (your co-payments) in 2010. Most plans have increased monthly premiums, but a number of plans have significantly increased co-payments also. If you would like to compare Drug plan or look for a cheaper plan that covers your drugs. You can contact Medicare at 1-800-633-4227. You can also contact MassMedLine at 1-866-633-1617 these folks will input your medications into the system to help determine the best plan for you.

Although you have until December 31 to make changes, we recommend making any changes as early as possible, so you will have paperwork from your new plan showing you are covered on January 1, 2010.

The good news is that help is available:

Call Central Massachusetts Agency on Aging at (800) 244-3032 and ask to schedule a SHINE appointment. SHINE Counselors are available to help you make choices. You may also call the regional SHINE office at (508) 422-9931.


To Enhance The Quality Of Life For Area Seniors And Their Caregivers, The Central Massachusetts Agency On Aging Will Provide Leadership, Information And Resources, Coordination Of Services And Advocacy.