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Medicare Open Enrollment 101

Medicare Open Enrollment Period

October 15 – December 7, 2019

If you are a Medicare beneficiary, then you are probably aware that right now is your open enrollment period. This means that right now is when you get to make your coverage selections for next year. The enrollment period will end on 12/7/19, so if you haven’t reviewed your coverage, now is the time to do it.

The open enrollment period is the only time of year that Medicare will let you enroll in or change some of your coverage, such as your Medicare Part D (prescription drug plan), or Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage).

Even if you are happy with your current coverage, it is always a good idea to review the options for next year. After all, there are 19 Medicare Advantage Plans and 26 Prescription plans available in our area in 2020! And for those of you who didn’t enroll in a Prescription Plan when you became eligible for Medicare, do it now while you can. There is a penalty for every month that you don’t have coverage.

If you need help paying for your Medicare coverage, the Medicare Savings plan may be able to help you pay your Medicare premiums, deductibles and copayments. Call the Louisiana Medicaid office for more information at 888-342-6207 or visit www.medicaid.la.gov.

If you need assistance with prescription drug costs, you may be eligible for Extra Help for Medicare Part D through the Social Security Administration. Visit: www.ssa.gov or visit your local Social Security office for more information or to apply.

For general information about Medicare, or for help with Open Enrollment questions, call Medicare at 1800-MEDICARE or visit www.medicare.gov. You can also call your local Council on Aging or the Louisiana Department of Insurance SHIIP (Senior Health Insurance Information Program) at 1800-259-5300 for personalized assistance and one-on-one Medicare counseling.

Finally, your current plan should have sent you a notice by now if there are going to be any changes to your plan next year. Please read carefully and seek out advice if you need it. There are many resources out there for you. Please take advantage of this opportunity to review and enroll in the coverage options that are best for you!