Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey reminds Medicare beneficiaries to compare and evaluate their current plans and make necessary changes during the annual Open Enrollment Period.
“Medicare plans and prices change,” Commissioner Causey said. “It is important for Medicare beneficiaries to take advantage of the Open Enrollment Period by contacting local Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) counselors to save money, improve your coverage or both.“
The Open Enrollment Period begins on Oct. 15 and runs for eight weeks to give you enough time to review and make changes to your Medicare coverage. Changes must be made by Dec. 7 to guarantee your coverage will begin without interruption on Jan. 1, 2024.
It is important to contact your local SHIIP counselor before deciding about coverage because you may be able to receive more affordable and better Medicare health and/or drug plan options in your area. For example, even if you are satisfied with your current Medicare Advantage or Part D plan, there may be another plan in your area that covers your health care and/or drugs at a better price.
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. SHIIP counselors can also 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 2024.
- Get one-on-one help from your local SHIIP office.
- Get one-on-one help from SHIIP by calling 1-855-408-1212, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Visit www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan to compare your current coverage with all the options that are available in your area and enroll in a new plan if you decide to make a change.
- 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 your coverage options. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.
- Contact your trusted licensed insurance agent.
SHIIP counselors are not licensed insurance agents, and they do not sell, endorse, or oppose any product, plan or company. If you have questions about your specific plan, we encourage you to contact your insurance agent or the insurance company.
For more information about SHIIP and the Medicare Open Enrollment Period, call 1-855-408-1212 or visit www.ncshiip.com.