Free counseling available to help navigate Medicare

Rheumatoid arthritis could be treated with a novel hydrogel
October 30, 2017
Medicare home health reimbursement could change
November 4, 2017

Free counseling available to help navigate Medicare

senior games
Walt Jakubek, left, 90, competes in a cycling event at the National Senior Games in Birmingham, Ala., in June. Jakubek took a gold medal in all three races he competed in.

Michael Anderson / Special to the Independent Tribune

Change is a part of everyday life, and change may be necessary to get the most out of health care benefits. Seniors have until Dec. 7 to get free guidance on Medicare changes.

Each year during the Open Enrollment Period, Medicare beneficiaries have the opportunity to compare and evaluate their current plans and make changes as necessary. By comparing plans, beneficiaries can save money and make certain that their 2018 plan will meet their needs.

All changes must be made by Dec. 7 to ensure that coverage can begin without interruption on Jan.1.

“SHIIP saved North Carolina Medicare Beneficiaries more than $44.3 million in 2016,” said North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey. “SHIIP is not only essential, but it is clearly cost-effective for our seniors.”

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 2018:

  • Get one-on-one help from local SHIIP office by calling Cabarrus County Department of Human Services at 704-920-1400 (choose option 7, then option 2).
  • Go to www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan to compare current coverage with all of the options that are available in the area and enroll in a new plan if needed.
  • Review the Medicare & You handbook. It was mailed to people with Medicare 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 go to www.ncshiip.com.

More: http://www.independenttribune.com/news/free-counseling-available-to-help-navigate-medicare/article_d43c1d06-bff5-11e7-b4ea-2fdf88d9f08e.html