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Hamm Reminds Citizens Medicare Open Enrollment Starts Today: Several Assistance Options Available
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Adam Hamm
November 15, 2007 701-328-2440


Hamm Reminds Citizens Medicare Open Enrollment Starts Today
Several Assistance Options Available 

Bismarck, ND - Insurance Commissioner Adam W. Hamm today reminded seniors that open enrollment for Medicare Part D starts today and runs through December 31, 2007.

"Now is the time for beneficiaries to study the options," Hamm said. "There are 52 plans available this year, so I encourage North Dakotans to take advantage of the assistance we offer in finding a plan that suits them." 

Seniors and others interested in personal counseling on Medicare Part D are invited to attend Open Enrollment events in cities across the state starting today. The events will offer one-on-one counseling sessions with staff from the State Health Insurance Counseling (SHIC) program, managed by the Insurance Department, and its volunteers. There is no need to pre-register for the events scheduled throughout November and December in Bismarck, Dickinson, Jamestown, Grand Forks, Fargo, Minot and Williston. For details, visit the Department's website at www.nd.gov/ins. 

"For those that are unable to attend the events in person, we have designed a simple and cost-free phone-in method to request help," Hamm added. "It's as simple as dialing 2-1-1 on your telephone to get the process started." 

In an effort to provide more efficient assistance, SHIC has created a new partnership with the 2-1-1 telephone program and expanded its existing partnership with the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP). Individuals that are interested in changing plans or signing up for Part D for the first time may call 2-1-1 and an operator will gather basic information. The beneficiary will next receive a plan comparison in the mail that can be used to choose a plan and enroll.

Enrolling is an easy process. Beneficiaries have the following options:

• Call the toll-free number for the insurance company or their insurance agent;
• Visit Medicare's website or call Medicare toll-free at 1-800-633-4227; 
• Call RSVP at 701-258-5436 on a Monday, Wednesday or a Friday from 12:30 to 3:30 pm only; or 
• Call SHIC toll-free at 1-888-575-6611.

For more information or to request assistance at any time, call SHIC at 1-888-575-6611.

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North Dakota Insurance Department
600 E. Boulevard Ave.
Bismarck, ND 58505-0320
Phone 701.328.2440
Toll free 800.247.0560
Fax 701.328.4880

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