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Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 23, 2018

Medicare open enrollment: 3 things to do

Oct 05, 2017

Do you have a Medicare health or prescription drug plan?

Open enrollment runs Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, and is the time you can make changes to your plan. If you miss an open enrollment deadline, you’ll most likely have to wait a full year before you can make changes to your plan.

Here are three important things you need to do.

Review your plan notice. Be sure to read any notices from your Medicare plan about changes for next year, especially your “Annual Notice of Change” letter. Look at your plan’s information to make sure your drugs are still covered and your doctors are still in network.

Think about what matters most to you. Medicare health and drug plans change each year and so can your health needs. Is your new medication covered by your current plan? Does another plan offer the same value at a lower cost? Does your network include the doctors you want to use?

Shop for plans that meet your needs and fit your budget. Starting in October, you can use Medicare’s plan finder tool at to see what other plans are offered in your area. A new plan may cost less, cover all your drugs and let you go to the providers you want, like your doctor or pharmacy.

Call Henry County SHIIP at 319-385-6774 for help comparing plans. Or call the SHIIP state office at 1-800-351-4664 to find a SHIIP office closer to you. SHIIP is a free, confidential service of the State of Iowa. If you find that your current coverage still meets your needs, then you’re done. If you need to change plans be sure you get it done during the open enrollment.

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