MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Those wishing to enroll for Medicare coverage for the upcoming year must do so by the deadline of next Wednesday, Dec. 7.
Open enrollment is the opportunity for participants to compare health and prescription drug plans or add extra benefits.
The Alabama Department of Senior Services (ADSS) and the Alabama State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) are ready to assist citizens with the open enrollment process.
“All eligible participants should take this opportunity to ensure they have the right Medicare plan for their individual needs,” said ADSS Commissioner Jean Brown. “Medicare open enrollment is coming to an end, and I encourage all participants to review their plans before the deadline.”
During the annual enrollment period, participants may:
– Drop a Medicare Advantage Plan
– Cancel an existing Part D plan
– Enroll in a Part D plan
– Change from one Medicare Advantage plan to a different one
– Change from Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan
– Change from one Part D prescription drug plan to another
There is a change in Medicare coverage for Part D insulin costs beginning Jan. 1, 2023. Plans cannot charge more than $35 for a one-month supply of each Medicare Part D-covered insulin, and there is no deductible for insulin.
Brown noted that ADSS and SHIP are ready to help answer questions about open enrollment.
“Through Alabama SHIP, certified counselors and volunteers are committed to helping Medicare beneficiaries make informed choices regarding health benefits at no charge to Medicare recipients,” Brown said. “Counselors and volunteers are not affiliated with an insurance company and will not attempt to sell insurance to Medicare beneficiaries.”
In 2021, there were more than 1 million Medicare beneficiaries in Alabama enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B. There were 218,784 individuals enrolled under age 65, many which required assistance and counseling regarding their benefits and plans.
Alabama SHIP educated or counseled over 48,000 Alabama Medicare recipients last year, according to Brown.
Local SHIP counselors can be reached at (800) 243-5463 or on the ADSS website at AlabamaAgeLine.gov/helpservices/.