Additional Date Scheduled for 2018 Medicare Part D Annual Enrollment Events

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Categories: Consumers Health Insurance Medicare

BISMARCK, N.D. – The Insurance Department will be hosting a series of nine, statewide Medicare Part D Annual Enrollment Events beginning on Tuesday, Oct. 16 in Grand Forks. The events will provide Medicare beneficiaries of all ages with the opportunity to review, plan or shop for coverage options with the assistance of trained, volunteer counselors. This year, an additional event has been scheduled in Minot.

“These annual enrollment events are just one of the valuable services the Insurance Department provides to our communities,” Godfread said. “Just as your health needs change from year to year, so do Medicare Part D plans. It is critical for beneficiaries to review their plan and make sure that it is the most cost effective option. Last year, SHIC volunteer counselors and staff were able to find more than $2 million in savings for North Dakota consumers.”

Open enrollment for Medicare health or prescription drug plans (Part D) runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. It’s just as important for North Dakotans already enrolled in Medicare Part D to review their current coverage during this time as it is for those enrolling for the first time because they can determine what features of coverage matter most to them and shop for plans that meet their needs and fit their budget. For example, changes companies make to their plan’s 2019 formulary (list of approved medications) and the tier assignments may be extremely costly if an individual does not review and make changes to their coverage. Any of the medications covered by a plan in 2018 may not be included in the 2019 formulary; this will result in having to pay full price for the medication.

“These events offer such an amazing opportunity that so few beneficiaries take advantage of,” David Zimmerman, Consumer Assistance Division Director, said. “Of course, we recommend that individuals new to Medicare visit with us before enrolling but we also recommend that those already enrolled attend an event as well. Many beneficiaries only evaluate changes in their plan’s premium; however, changes to prescription medications covered by a plan can tremendously increase out-of-pocket costs.”

Individuals needing assistance with enrolling in or managing their Medicare Part D coverage should attend one of the nine, statewide events running from Oct. 16-30 and are asked to bring:

A list of medications, including dosages and frequency
Medicare card (if applicable)
Medicare Part D prescription drug plan card (if applicable)
The State Health Insurance Counseling (SHIC) program hosts the events offering free, confidential assistance to North Dakotans through trained, volunteer counselors. Counselors are trained in all aspects of senior insurance issues, such as Medicare, Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage Plans. The SHIC program is administered by the Department’s Consumer Assistance Division.

SHIC counselors will be visiting the following cities on the dates listed below.

 

CITY DATE/TIME LOCATION
Grand Forks Tuesday, Oct. 16
9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Canad Inns
1000 S 42nd St.
(701) 772-8408

Fargo Wednesday, Oct. 17
9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Country Inn & Suites
3316 13th Ave. S
(701) 234-0565
Valley City Thursday, Oct. 18
9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Senior Center
139 2nd Ave. SE
(701) 845-4300
Jamestown Friday, Oct. 19
9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Gladstone Inn
111 2nd Ave. SE
(701) 252-0700
Dickinson Tuesday, Oct. 23
9 a.m.-4 p.m. MST
Henry Biesiot Activities Center
398 State Ave.
(701) 483-1918
Williston Wednesday, Oct. 24
9 a.m.-4 p.m.

ARC
822 18th St. E
(701) 572-9272

Minot Thursday, Oct. 25
9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Sleep Inn & Suites
2400 10th St. SW
(701) 837-3100

Minot Friday, Oct. 26
9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Sleep Inn & Suites
2400 10th St. SW
(701) 837-3100
Bismarck Tuesday, Oct. 30
9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Qaulity Inn
1030 E Interstate Ave.
(701) 223-1911

 

Beneficiaries should note the additional event in Minot on Friday, Oct. 26, this year.

"Over the last few years, the level of participation in Minot has been higher than in any other community,” Zimmerman said. “We decided to trial the addition of a half day to determine if it will benefit people in Minot. If it works, we may try adding half days in other communities with a significant turnout.”

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