What You Need to Know During Medicare Open Enrollment This Year

What You Need to Know During Medicare Open Enrollment This Year

The open enrollment period for Medicare coverage in 2024 runs until December 7, 2023.

This is the annual period when existing Medicare beneficiaries can make changes and update their plans for 2024.

Changes made during this period will go into effect on January 1, 2024.

Who can make changes during Medicare open enrollment?

During the open enrollment period you can join, switch, or drop a plan. Your coverage will begin on January 1 (as long as the plan receives your request by December 7).

If you are interested in getting Medicare, the sign-up window is the three months before and three months after you turn 65. If you miss that window, you must wait until Medicare’s general enrollment period, which is from January 1 through March 31.

For more details on signing up and changing plans, visit www.Medicare.gov.

What’s new in 2024?

This excerpt from the official “Medicare & You 2024” handbook outlines the important updates for the year:

  • Saving money on your prescription drugs
  • Lower costs for insulin and vaccines
  • Changes to telehealth coverage
  • Managing and treating chronic pain
  • Better mental health care
  • More times to sign up for Medicare
  • COVID-19 care

Tell me about the packet I received in the mail from Medicare

Every year, Medicare sends you an Annual Notice of Changes (ANOC) describing any changes to your current coverage, costs, or service area. Beware of other mail or calls about your Medicare information. Medicare will never call you for your Medicare number or ask you for personal information unless you reach out first.

This is a lot of information. Who can I call for help?

You can reach out to SHIIP, the Senior Health Insurance and Information Program, for assistance. They offer free and confidential counseling from trained volunteers to help you navigate your Medicare options. There are two SHIIP Sponsor Sites in Linn County where you can set up an appointment with a counselor. You can contact them at:

  • Mercy Medical Center: (319) 861-7887
  • UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital: (319) 369-7475

The October 13th edition of the Life At Meth-Wick newsletter also has helpful information: Life at Meth-Wick newsletter.

If you have additional questions or need additional forms, please call Cindy Robertson extension 646 or Andrea Santacroce extension 658.