Medicare Enrollment Season: It’s Important.


Kristin Crockett, director of the Essex Council on Aging has been busy with Medicare Enrollment season, which began last month and will continue until December 7.   

This is an important time for many Essex residents.  Last year, Crockett said, the COA office counseled approximately 200 Essex residents last year.  The concern, she said, is residents who aren’t aware of small but significant details to Medicare change and can have significant—and sometimes, costly—impact on their healthcare benefits.  Programs and regulations change and can have big impacts on individuals, often without their knowledge.  Increasingly, healthcare is a major part of a family or individual’s budget. 

Sometimes it’s big, such as last year when one Essex resident she met with saved $1,600.  More typical are savings of a couple hundred dollars in annual expenditures.  That said, Crocket said the opportunity to review Medicare plans with a counselor is a worthy exercise.  The counselors offer free, unbiased and confidential counseling on healthcare insurance to anyone who is either on or eligible for Medicare.   

Medicare insurance is available to eligible people who are age 65 and older, and some younger people with disabilities. 

If you do not already have care or are interested in changing your plan, there are many resources available to help you through the process. 

The sessions will discuss how Medicare works, including: 

  • Understanding your benefits 
  • How and when to enroll to avoid late enrollment penalties 
  • Original Medicare, Medigap, Prescription Drug Plan, and Medicare Advantage comparisons — finding the right plan for you, such as programs that help pay Medicare Part B premiums and/or prescription drug costs (for incomes up to $1,615 individuals/$2,175 couple) 

For more information, email Crockett at

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