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Friday, January 22, 2021

Medicare enrollment period starts Oct. 15

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Q: When I turned 65, I chose a Medicare Advantage Plan that might not be the best plan for me now. I think I might need to switch to a new plan. What should I do now?

A: The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (formerly the Open Enrollment Period) is right around the corner, beginning Oct. 15 and ending Dec. 7. During this Annual Enrollment Period, you can:

• Change from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan.

• Change from a Medicare Advantage Plan back to Original Medicare.

• Switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another Medicare Advantage Plan.

• Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn’t offer drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers drug coverage, or vice versa.

• Join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.

• Switch from one Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to another.

• Drop your Medicare prescription drug coverage completely.

There are many helpful tools available to help you choose the plan that’s right for you.

The State Health Insurance Information Program (SHIP) is a free and unbiased counseling program provided by the Indiana Department of Insurance for Medicare beneficiaries in Indiana. SHIP has sites throughout the state where you can meet with a counselor. SHIP is staffed by a crew of counselors who have completed intensive training and can help you sort through your options.

To make an appointment with a SHIP counselor or to find a site near you, call 1-800-452-4800. Another great resource is the Plan Finder available at medicare.gov. By entering your zip code, prescription drug information, and a few other preferences, the Plan Finder can help you compare plans available in your area.

If you would like help using the Plan Finder, SHIP counselors can assist you in complete confidence.

SHIP will be hosting events throughout the state of Indiana to help beneficiaries during Annual Enrollment. For a list of these events, visit the SHIP website at medicare.in.gov and choose the SHIP Presentations link.

If you have questions about Annual Enrollment or anything else related to Medicare, contact SHIP at 800-452-4800 or visit medicare.in.gov.

SHIP is a free, unbiased counseling program provided by the Indiana State Department of Insurance.

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