Monday, October 15, 2018

Medicare open enrollment now underway and runs until December 7

Oct 15, 2018

he Medicare enrollment period is now open and runs for the next seven weeks. Each year during the Open Enrollment Period, Medicare beneficiaries have the opportunity to compare and evaluate their current plan and make changes as necessary. By comparing plans during the Open Enrollment Period, Medicare beneficiaries can save money and ensure their 2019 plan is best suited to meet their needs.

The Open Enrollment Period begins today, Oct. 15, and all changes must be made by Dec. 7 to ensure coverage begins without interruption Jan. 1, 2019.

“Now is the time to enroll, keep or change your Medicare coverage,” North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey said. “The process is easy. We have customer service reps standing by to help walk you through the process. Call us now at 855-408-1212.”

Commissioner Causey also noted that comparing Part D plans annually is necessary to make sure you get the best coverage for your prescription needs. The staff from SHIIP, the Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program, is ready to help seniors with all their Medicare enrollment questions. They’re available 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 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 Open Enrollment Period, SHIIP counselors can help people find out if they are eligible for Medicare cost savings programs.

Here are some of the ways to review and compare plans available for 2019:

  • Get one-on-one help from SHIIP, the Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program, by calling 1-855-408-1212, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Beneficiaries can also request in-person assistance in their home county.
  • Visit to compare current coverage and enroll in a new plan if changes are needed.
  • Review the Medicare & You handbook, which was mailed to beneficiaries in September.
  • Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) 24-hours a day, seven days a week, to find out more about coverage options. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.

For more information about SHIIP and the Medicare Open Enrollment Period, call 1-855-408-1212 or visit

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