NDSU Extension - Mercer County


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Medicare Part D Open Enrollment is Here!

Medicare Part D, Open Enrollment, Medicare prescription drug coverage

Submitted by Dena Kemmet, Extension Agent/Family and Community Wellness

Open enrollment began October 15 and remains open until December 7.

Now is the time to review your Medicare prescription drug coverage and make changes if it no longer meets your needs. The new Medicare Plan finder is now available to help you compare 2020 coverage options and shop for plans.

The Plan Finder is now mobile-friendly, so you can use it on your smart phone, tablet, and desktop! It will guide you step-by-step through the process of comparing plans. It has a simple, easy-to-read design to help you learn about and select options that are best for your health needs.

Anyone can use the Plan Finder to browse Medicare coverage options and available plans. You can choose a more personalized experience by creating or logging into your online account.

To get the most accurate drug costs when you compare plans, you’ll want to have an up-to-date list of prescription drugs you take regularly. If you are logged in to your account, it will suggest prescriptions that you filled within the last 12 months. If you have an existing drug list from the old Plan Finder identifiable with a drug ID and password (yellow card), you can still access that list, print a copy, and use it to create a new list in the new Plan Finder.

As long as you log in to your account, you can save and store your drug list so you can return to it later. If you choose to skip logging into an account, you can still search for drugs to create a drug list – but you’ll have to re-enter your complete drug list each time you return to the site.

If you’re already on a prescription drug plan, don’t assume the current plan is the best option for 2020. Be aware that benefits and premium could change from one year to the next. It’s important to make sure you understand any changes and that you’ve double checked to make sure that your current plan is still the best available option.

It’s important to carefully review the information sent to you by your plan provider since this will cover any possible changes. For example, increasing co-pays, changes to drug formularies or changes to treatment coverage. Once open enrollment gets underway, you can make changes that reflect your current health coverage needs.

The available plans and what they cover changes from one year to the next. If the plan you have now was the best option when you shopped last year, it’s important to verify that again before you lock yourself in for another year.

Other options for comparing Part D plans include contacting one of several State Health Insurance Counseling (SHIC) counselors, visiting www.Medicare.gov and entering your information in the Plan Finder, or attending the free local enrollment event in Beulah on November 7, at Coal Country Community Health Center (CCCHC). For more information on any of these options call 873-5195.

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