Compare and Choose Medicare Plans From Oct. 15- Dec. 7

— Written By Trudy Pickett and last updated by

Compare and Choose Medicare Plans from Oct. 15- Dec. 7

Your health needs change from year to year, and the benefits and costs of your health plan may change each year, too. That’s why it’s important to evaluate your Medicare choices every year. The Annual Election Period is the one time of year when all people with Medicare can change their Medicare health plan and prescription drug coverage for 2015. Take advantage of the Annual Election Period, and you may be able to save money, improve your coverage or both.

The Annual Election Period starts on Oct.15—and lasts seven full weeks—to give you enough time to review and make changes to your Medicare coverage. You will need to make your final selection for next year’s Medicare coverage by Dec. 7 to ensure that your coverage can begin without interruption on Jan.1.

“It’s worth it to take the time to review and compare your Medicare options, but you don’t have to do it alone,” said North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin. “Remember that representatives from SHIIP, the Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program, are available to help over the phone or in-person in all 100 counties in North Carolina.”

SHIIP is a division of the North Carolina Department of Insurance and that offers free, unbiased information about Medicare, Medicare prescription drug coverage, Medicare Advantage, long-term care insurance and other health insurance issues. In addition to helping Medicare beneficiaries compare and enroll in plans during the Annual Election Period, SHIIP counselors can help people find out if they are eligible for Medicare cost savings programs.

To get one-on-one help from SHIIP, the Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program call 1-855-408-1212, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can also request in-person assistance. In Lenoir County, call Cooperative Extension at 252-527-2191 or the Council on Aging at 252-527-1545 and ask for Medicare assistance.

You may also visit www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan to compare your current coverage with all of the options that are available in your area, and enroll in a new plan if you decide to make a change. To speak to Medicare directly, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) 24-hours a day, seven days a week, to find out more about your coverage options. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.

Written By

Photo of Trudy PickettTrudy PickettRetired (252) 527-2191 (Office) trudy_pickett@ncsu.eduLenoir County, North Carolina
Updated on Sep 8, 2015
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