Medicare’s Annual Open Enrollment is Here! Free Help is available for Medicare beneficiaries.

The Medicare Annual Open Enrollment Period (AOEP) for Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans is here, and there is still time to review your options and make changes if needed!  AOEP began on October 15th and runs through December 7th.

AOEP is the time of year when Medicare beneficiaries can make changes to their coverage plans.  During this period, people may purchase, switch, or drop Medicare Advantage plans and/or Part D prescription drug plans.  Any changes made between October 15th and December 7th become effective on January 1, 2022.

Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans can change year to year, so it is important for people to review their plans. Plans may add, change, or eliminate benefits, change the prescription drugs that are covered, update provider networks, and change the premium, deductibles and/or copays.

If you have Medicare, your current plan will send you an Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) in September. It is recommended that you review the ANOC, to make sure your plan meets your healthcare needs and budget for the upcoming year.  

If you would like assistance comparing your plan options, Pennsylvania Medicare Education and Decision Insight, PA MEDI can help!  PA MEDI is the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) which provides free, accurate, unbiased information about Medicare and your health insurance options.  During AOEP, specially trained PA MEDI staff and counselors can help explain Medicare and review the options available to you.

In addition to providing free assistance comparing insurance plans during AOEP, PA MEDI certified counselors are available throughout the year to assist individuals with all of their Medicare needs and/or issues, such as: Medicare enrollment: Medicare Advantage or Part D prescription drug plans; Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap); screening and applying for financial assistance programs; Medicaid; fraud and abuse; appeals and long-term care insurance. 

In Allegheny County, PA MEDI is operated by Wesley Family Services in partnership with the Allegheny County Area Agency on Aging.  Wesley Family Services is a 501( c)(3) organization that provides a diverse range of quality healthcare and therapeutic support services with a mission to “empower children, adults, and families by providing transformational care.”

You can make an appointment to meet with a PA MEDI counselor by calling 412-661-1438 or emailing   

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, PA MEDI is taking extra precautions to ensure safety for you and for our staff and counselors.  Appointments will be conducted by telephone and through secure Zoom video calls whenever possible.  In-person appointments at our offices are available on a case-by-case basis.  PA MEDI counselors look forward to assisting you!  

Effective July 1, 2021, the APPRISE program is now Pennsylvania Medicare Education and Decision Insight, PA MEDI – same program, same services for Pennsylvania’s Medicare beneficiaries, now with a new name.