O'Brien County's Bell-Times-Courier -

SHIIP Counselors Ready to Assist Iowans as Medicare Open Enrollment is Underway


November 22, 2018

Des Moines - Open enrollment is underway for Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans and the Iowa Insurance Division’s Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) is available to offer free, unbiased and confidential assistance to Iowans. “Iowans have nine new Part D drug plans available to them in 2019 and many new Medicare Advantage options,” Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen said. “Medicare can he very confusing, and I encourage any Iowans eligible for Medicare as well as caregivers to reach out to our SHIIP team for assistance before the open enrollment window closes.”

Iowans may make changes to their Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug plan during open enrollment through December 7, 2018. Iowans that miss the open enrollment deadline most likely would have to wait a full year before making changes to their plan. “We are seeing a high percentage of the people saving money by changing plans for 2019,” SHIIP Director Kris Gross added. “Last year SHIIP helped Iowans save over $26 million by comparing Medicare Part D plans for Iowans and we expect that number to be even higher this year.”

SHIIP is reminding Iowans to do three important things during Medicare open enrollment:

• Review your plan notice. Read any notices from your Medicare plan about changes for next year - especially your “Annual Notice of Change” letter. Review your plan’s information to make sure the prescriptions you use are still covered and your medical providers and pharmacy are still in network.

• Think about what matters most to you. Medicare health and drug plans change each year and so can your health needs. Does your current plan best meet your needs?

• Shop for the plans that meet your needs and fit your budget. Compare plans even if you’ve been satisfied with your current plan. The coverage and costs for plans can change from year to year.

SHIIP has counselors all around the state that can assist with comparing plans. Call 1-800-351- 4664 (TTY 800-735-2942) to get help near you. SHIIP is a free, confidential service of the State of Iowa. SHIIP counselors review all plans offered and do not promote any particular plan or company.


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