Your Health Matters


Local resources available residents who qualify for Medicare open enrollment

Posted at 11:58 PM, Nov 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-07 01:58:58-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The Bakersfield Family Medical Center held a Health Expo for seniors looking to get more information about Medicare advantage plans. Representatives like doctors, providers, and specialists had information on hand to help seniors learn about healthcare options.

For those 65+ or anyone who qualifies for Medicare, open enrollment is until December 7. Representatives say there are local resources available to seniors who are interested in joining medicare or adding onto their existing coverage.

“One time a year seniors have a chance to change their medicare advantage plan if they want to or sign up for a medicare advantage plan," Laurie Howlett said.

Howlett is a representative with Bakersfield Family Medical Center and says the center contracts with many health plans to administer your medical care.

“And we will put them in touch with the people that they'd like to talk to and help them out," Howlett said.

Daralynn King with Humana says health and drug plans can change each year. This is the time to get those questions answered about your specific needs.

“A lot of seniors want to know about dental, they want to know that their doctors are covered, they want to know that their prescriptions are covered, and they want to know what Humana is offering for 2022," King said.

If you weren't able to make it out to the senior health expo, medicare has tips that many be helpful for you if interested in enrolling in health or drug plans. Medicare says check your mail for important notices from Medicare or social security about changes in coverage, costs or service areas. Two, think about your Medicare coverage needs for 2022, and decide if your current coverage will meet your needs for the year ahead. Three, review your 2022 'Medicare and you handbook' for information about medicare coverage plans in your area. And finally, preview 2022 health and prescription drug plans by visiting PLANS IN YOUR AREA…

BFMC Physician Assistant Derek Harmon says if you've been putting off your visits to the doctor due to COVID-19, it's even more important to keep up with general health screenings, so having coverage is necessary.

Harmon: “we want people to be coming out or going into their primary care offices to get preventative care because if we prevent it before something major happens we're doing a whole heck of a lot better than before.”

You can also call the Bakersfield Family Medical Center and they will put you in touch with health care providers or visit their website at