News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Health & Fitness

August 29, 2012


Q: I remember getting a few mailings about my Medicare and my Extra Help last year. Some were on different colors of paper. What did those mean, and will I get them again?

A: You’re right that this is the time of year when CMS and Social Security begin sending out important notices.

Many of them require action from you. Some of them will be printed on a specific color paper according to the information being sent. Read on to find out what some of these mailings on colored paper mean.

• Gray Notice

The Loss of Deemed Status will be sent to anyone who no longer automatically qualifies for Extra Help in 2013. The notice will explain why a person no longer automatically qualifies and encourages them to complete an enclosed application for Extra Help.

• Orange Notice

If you have Extra Help and still automatically qualify, you should receive a Change in Extra Help Co-Payment Notice if your co-pays will change for 2013.

• Blue Notices

If your Medicare drug plan is leaving the Medicare Program, you will receive a Reassignment Notice - Plan Termination. This means you will be reassigned to a new Medicare drug plan in 2013 unless you choose a new plan in early December.

If you receive a blue Reassignment Notice - Premium Increase, you are being notified that your Medicare drug plan premium is increasing above the regional LIS premium subsidy amount. You will be reassigned to a new Medicare drug plan in 2013 if you don't join a new plan.

If you receive a blue MA Reassignment Notice, your current Medicare Advantage plan is leaving the Medicare Program, and you will be reassigned to a new Medicare Advantage plan in 2013 unless you choose a new plan in early December.

• Tan Notices

In November, you might want to be on the lookout for the LIS Choosers Notice. This notice is sent to people who have Extra Help and chose a Medicare drug plan on their own. If you receive this notice, it means your plan’s premium is changing, and you will have to pay a portion of the premium in 2013 unless you Join a new $0 premium plan.

Read next September’s Ask SHIP to learn about additional notices you may receive by mail.

If you have questions about these notices or anything else related to Medicare, contact SHIP for help. Call 1- 800-452-4800, or visit

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