Hackensack Meridian Health Mountainside Medical Center announced the launch of a toll-free helpline designed to help Medicare beneficiaries select a health plan that fits their needs and budget while also retaining their existing hospital and doctors.

The new toll-free helpline connects callers with local licensed agents who can assist in comparing Medicare Advantage, Supplement and Prescription plans and then facilitate enrollment in the plan selected. Through this program it will be easier for Medicare beneficiaries to find a plan that is accepted by Mountainside Medical Center and its affiliated doctors, thus assuring continuity of care and preserving the trusted bond built up over time with their providers. Local consumers can access the helpline through a link on the hospital’s website mountainsidehosp.com/medicare or by calling 855-342-5559

“Seniors are bombarded with confusing messages from competing health plans and options, and this is especially true for those just turning 65 and becoming eligible for Medicare for the first time,” said hospital CEO, John A. Fromhold. “This helpline is a one-stop resource for insurance information, so seniors can be confident in the selections they make.”

The helpline was launched by Mountainside Medical Center in conjunction with MedicareCompareUSA, the nation’sleading company in helping seniors make this important decision. Not owned or managed by any Medicare insurance company, MedicareCompareUSA’s mission is to provide seniors the unbiased information they need while simplifying the enrollment process.

In addition to providing assistance throughout the plan application and enrollment process, agents of MedicareCompareUSA can provide an annual review of an enrollee’s Medicare coverage during Medicare’s annual enrollment period. This often includes assisting members affected by Medicare plan network changes that frequently occur on an annual basis. Doing so assures that beneficiaries have the information they need to proactively select a plan that best meets their specific needs, preferences and budget while retaining continuity of care with their providers.

Fromhold points out that Mountainside Medical Center does not accept all insurance options or health plans, and contractual relationships may change on an annual basis. If a patient enrolls with a health plan that Mountainside Medical Center does not accept, their care and relationships with their doctors will be in jeopardy.

“Members of our community have been entrusting us to be their healthcare partner for many years, and that’s a responsibility and honor we don’t take lightly,” said Fromhold. “This helpline will help those on Medicare make an informed decision regarding their insurance options at this important time in their life. We urge all local seniors to take advantage of this free service.”