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HealthCare Checkup

The Seattle Times health-care team tracks the local impact of the Affordable Care Act.

October 13, 2014 at 4:28 PM

Medicare Advantage, drug plan enrollments start Oct. 15

Open enrollment for Medicare Advantage plans and prescription drug coverage (Part D) begins Oct. 15 and runs through Dec. 7.

“Many Medicare plans are changing again this year,” said Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler in a press release. “Open enrollment is the time to shop for the best plan that meets your needs.”

The state offers free assistance to people needing help signing up through its Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA).

The Office of the Insurance Commissioners offers enrollment tips:

— Review letters from your insurance company to learn how your costs and benefits may have changed.

— Review the 2015 Medicare & You handbook.

— Make a list of your prescription drugs and doses in order to find the best Part D plan for your needs at Medicare Plan Finder (https://www.medicare.gov/).

— Call a SHIBA volunteer at 800-562-6900 or call 800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227) if you have questions.

— If you have limited income and need help paying for prescription drugs, check out Medicare’s “Extra Help” program (www.socialsecurity.gov/).

The Medicare enrollment that begins this week is separate from the upcoming enrollment period for health-insurance plans for individuals.

Comments | Topics: health insurance, Medicare, Office of the Insurance Commissioner

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