What You Need To Know About Medicare Open Enrollment

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Fall is here again, which means it’s time for the Medicare Fall Open Enrollment Period.

Medicare enrollment can be challenging to sort through when you first sign up, let alone figuring out how to make changes and updates every year. Are you on the right plan for you? Could you get the coverage you need on a plan that will cost you less? Where can you get straight answers?

We’re here to help with questions and more to make sure you get the best coverage you can in 2019.

Q: When is the Medicare Fall Open Enrollment Period?
A: Open enrollment started October 15 and ends on December 7. That means you still have a whole month left to evaluate your coverage.

Q: What am I supposed to do during open enrollment?
A: This is your time to look around for lower premiums, extra benefits, and better prescription drug plans from both public and private insurers.

Q: How is Medicare changing in 2019?
A: New legislation will close donut holes for out-of-pocket spending on prescription costs, remove the cap on outpatient therapy, and broaden telehealth programs, among other changes. Learn more from AARP.

Q: This is all a little confusing. Is there anyone I can talk to for guidance?
A: Yes. Every state receives federal funding for a State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). In Iowa, we have the Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP). SHIIP offers confidential, one-on-one counseling with trained volunteers. The counseling is unbiased and, best of all, it’s free.

Q: Where can I meet with a SHIIP counselor?
A: There are two counseling sites here in Linn County at Mercy Hospital and UnityPoint-St. Luke’s along with several others in surrounding counties.

  • SHIIP at Mercy: 319-861-7887
  • SHIIP at St. Luke’s: 319-369-7475

If you have any other questions about changes to your Medicare coverage, Meth-Wick is here to help. Contact Cindy Robertson at 297-8646 with any concerns.

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