Medicare Open Enrollment began Saturday, Oct.15 and will remain open until Dec. 7. Consumers must enroll by Dec. 7 for coverage beginning Jan. 1,2023. During this time existing Medicare beneficiaries may change various aspects of their Medicare Advantage and Part D drug coverage. 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.
“Just as your health needs may change from year to year, so do Medicare plan costs and coverage,” said ADSS Commissioner Jean Brown. “I urge everyone who is on Medicare to review their current plans to ensure they have the most economical and complete coverage for their individual needs.”
During the annual enrollment period participants may:
• Drop a Medicare Advantage Plan
• Cancel their 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
Brown said ADSS and SHIP are ready to help.
“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 of whom required assistance and counseling regarding their benefits and plans. Alabama SHIP educated or counseled over 48,000 Alabama Medicare recipients in 2021, Brown said.
Local SHIP counselors can be reached at 1-800-243-5463 or on the ADSS website at AlabamaAgeLine.gov/helpservices/.