The Medicare Open Enrollment period begins Saturday.
Navigating the many options for healthcare and prescription drug coverage can be overwhelming. For those already enrolled in the program, it’s also a good time to review plan options, supplemental policies, and changes.
Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) Director Sandy Leith says that the Illinois Department of Aging has help for you to sort through it all: “The SHIP Program has over 1,000 trained and certified counselors working through some of your close organizations near you like hospitals, township offices, area agencies on aging, senior centers. They’ve been certified and they can help you, sit down with you one-on-one or over the phone and go through your options and actually run what we call a Plan Finder. The Medicare.gov Plan Finder online will give you the best scenario of what your coverage should be for 2023.”
The Plan Finder and counseling service is free. Leith says that the Medicare.gov Plan Finder will help you keep everything together and show you the best options, especially when it comes to prescriptions: “You can then look at your Medicare drug list. You can build a list and edit your drug list. It usually comes pre-populated with the drugs you have been taking so far. The best way to keep all of it together and look at your options, you put in your zip code and then, you will look at what plans are available that cover the exact drug list that your are taking. Then, you can look at ‘Where do I want to shop?’ and there is actually pharmacy choices. You can pick up to 5 different pharmacies to see what gives you the best deals.”
The open enrollment period lasts through December 7th. For more information, you can call the toll free Senior Help Line at 1-800-252-8966 to find a location nearest you to do an in-person sign-up or help session, or visit the Illinois Department on Aging’s website.