Smyth County

Medicare changes could cost seniors more money

Medicare changes

MARION, Va. - Medicare open enrollment is in full swing, but we are told not as many seniors take advantage of it.

"They're not helping senior citizens too good, I don't think," said Cora Lee Catron.

News 5 went to a local senior center and spoke to a group about their Medicare. Most were not happy with it or weren't too sure what they even had.

"I think they keep you broke," said Lena Wyatt.

They told us they were not too thrilled with more changes that cost them more money and make them choose what to pay for. "Do you pay for this, or do you get your medicine? Nine times out of 10 they're not going to get their medicine," said Gayle Jackson.

Debbie Spencer, the VICAP Director for District 3, says that should not be an option. "You need to compare your Medicare plan every year," said Spencer.

She tells us to compare for changes in your premium, deductibles and co pays, but to also check to make sure they cover your medication. "Because one year it may cover a medication and the next year it may not," said Spencer.

Spencer says a plan that was good a year earlier, may not be suitable for you now, especially if you have changed to different medications.

"They go to the plan and think it's going to be great forever and they never look at it again. They go to the pharmacy to get their medicine and it costs $200 to pick their meds up," said Spencer.

Some other changes seniors will see are more prescriptions will be covered under Medicare D.

The deductible will increase $5 and the monthly income cap for extra help has risen, allowing more people to participate.

If you would like more information or help choosing a new plan, you can check the websites for your area.

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