(Placerville, CA) - A free, one-hour virtual workshop to help Medicare recipients understand drug plans and Medicare Advantage plans that will be available in El Dorado County in 2024 is scheduled for Tuesday, October 24, 2023, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. The workshop is open to the public and will be held via Zoom. A one-hour question and answer period will follow the workshop. The workshop is presented by the non-profit El Dorado County Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP).
The workshop will help Medicare enrollees prepare for Medicare open enrollment, which is October 15 through December 7, 2023. The enrollment period is one of the few times Medicare beneficiaries can change, enroll into, or dis-enroll from a Medicare Part D drug plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan (such as an HMO). If switching plans, enrollment in the new plan will take effect January 1, 2024.
"In 2024, there will be 23 Medicare Part D drug plans and 14 Medicare Advantage Part C plans available in El Dorado County," said Rhoda Slagle, Regional Coordinator for the El Dorado County HICAP. "The workshop will focus on Medicare options available to El Dorado County residents in 2024."
No registration is required to attend the workshop. Individuals may access the online workshop at: www.HICAPservices.net/events. The workshop will be offered as a webinar with slides, as well as audio-only by telephone (long distance rates might apply). To access via telephone, call 1-669-900-6833, and enter meeting code: 861-2526-8130 and passcode: 551690. After the workshop, a recording of it will be available at: www.HICAPservices.net/events.
"Each year, Medicare drug plans can and do change the list of covered drugs or the price of those drugs," said Slagle. "These changes can lead to considerably higher out-of-pocket costs for seniors if they stay with the same plan. Research shows that people who take the time to review their plan choices each year can often significantly reduce their prescription drug costs by switching to a different Part D drug plan."
"Medicare beneficiaries should be wary of media promotions about specific benefits in Medicare Advantage Plans," said Slagle. "Television ads about Medicare Advantage benefits can be grossly misleading. El Dorado County residents need to know which Medicare Advantage Plans are available in El Dorado County and that some plans may not include all benefits promoted in television ads."
According to Slagle, El Dorado County HICAP can help Medicare beneficiaries review either their Part D drug plan choices or their Medicare Advantage Plan choices for 2024. To receive HICAP assistance, residents of El Dorado County can pick up and return to the Placerville Senior Center a completed "HICAP/Medicare Worksheet for 2024". During Medicare Open Enrollment, the HICAP Medicare Worksheets are available at the El Dorado Hills Senior Center, the Placerville Senior Center, and the South Lake Tahoe Senior Center. Worksheets are also available by request at each of the six public libraries in El Dorado County. In addition, worksheets can be requested by calling El Dorado HICAP at (530) 621-6169.
Throughout the year, HICAP also provides free, unbiased, individual counseling about Medicare to residents of El Dorado County. To request an appointment, please call (530) 621-6169. The number of appointments is limited, so calling early is recommended. HICAP is not associated with any insurance company. The program works in partnership with older adult programs of the El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency.
For information about other older adult services in El Dorado County, please visit
# # #