Medicare Open Enrollment Nears

resizedimage14676-ship-logoMedicare Open Enrollment is the period of time from October 15th to December 7th when eligible Medicare beneficiaries can make changes to their health and prescription drug coverage plans without penalty. If you or someone you know is eligible for benefits and has questions about their Medicare options for 2017, you can call our office to schedule a free, confidential appointment with a qualified State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) counselor.

“Our specially trained SHIP staff and volunteers are here to help you cut through the confusion and take the stress out of the Open Enrollment process,” says Samantha White, FCS Director of Volunteer Services. “We don’t provide legal advice or recommend any specific insurance product or provider. We simply help evaluate the best Medicare and Medicare Part D coverage options to meet your needs.”

During the Open Enrollment Period, which runs through December 7th, current or newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries can make a number of changes to their plans, including:

  • Change from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan.

  • Change from a Medicare Advantage Plan back to Original Medicare.

  • Switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another Medicare Advantage Plan.

  • Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn’t offer drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers drug coverage.

  • Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn’t offer drug coverage.

  • Join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.

  • Switch from one Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to another.

  • Drop your Medicare prescription drug coverage completely.

White encourages Medicare beneficiaries to re-evaluate their insurance annually because coverage can change and shopping around for the best plans can save money. SHIP counselors can also help determine if a person may qualify for Medicare’s “Extra Help” program to assist with prescription drug costs. Nationwide, it’s estimated that more than 2 million beneficiaries are eligible for the program, but are not currently enrolled.

FCS has more than 20 volunteer counselors serving at 20 different locations and a variety of informational sessions throughout Monmouth County. To schedule your free, confidential counseling session with a trained, unbiased counselor, call us today at 732-728-1331.