Medicare is currently in its open enrollment season for prescription drug plans. Open enrollment will run through December 7th. There are over 2.2 million beneficiaries in Illinois enrolled in Medicare, and the average monthly Medicare Advantage premium changed from $20.17 in 2019 to $18.49 in 2020. There are currently 300 Senior Health Insurance Plan offices across the state of Illinois that can help guide seniors to the plan that is right for them.
Senior Health Insurance Plan or SHIP Director Sandy Leith says everyone should start with a website: MyMedicare.gov: “Your My Medicare Account is something that you can set up personally between you and Medicare. You will be able to see your records. You can view your Medicare card. You can view your claims. It will help you through your records and with your healthcare insurance needs. Once you set up the account, it knows who you are, what prescriptions you have taken for the last 12 months, your dosages. All you have to do is verify those. Then, you can go into the ‘Pharmacy’ option to see which pharmacies are closest to you that you would like to shop at. Then, it will calculate all of your costs. Costs certainly vary all over the place.”
SHIP offices will be able to help Medicare patients navigate the over 125 plans available to seniors. Contact SHIP, by calling 1-800-252-8966, weekdays 8:30 a.m. -5:00 p.m. For more information about SHIP, including a list of SHIP locations visit Illinois.gov/SHIP
SHIP is not affiliated with any insurance company, and counselors do not sell or solicit any type of insurance. SHIP counselors in the field help seniors and people with disabilities on Medicare understand the options available to them. They also educate and answer questions about Medicare plans and options. The SHIP program is a part of the Illinois Department of Aging.