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PNS Daily Newscast - December 11, 2017 


Families across the nation are still waiting for children's health insurance funding; also on our nationwide rundown, Aztec High School in New Mexico remains closed following a deadly shooting; plus a look at how politics figure into most companies' marketing strategies.

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Help Available for Idahoans During Medicare Open Enrollment

Idahoans on Medicare will have a chance to compare costs of prescription drug plans during open enrollment, which starts Sunday, Oct. 15. (Chris Potter/Flickr)
Idahoans on Medicare will have a chance to compare costs of prescription drug plans during open enrollment, which starts Sunday, Oct. 15. (Chris Potter/Flickr)
October 12, 2017

BOISE, Idaho -- Open enrollment for Medicare begins this Sunday, which means more than 280,000 participants in Idaho have the opportunity to review their Medicare plans.

People across the country have until December 7 to look at making changes to their current plans, or to sign up for Medicare. Fred Turner, volunteer with Idaho's Senior Health Insurance Benefits Advisor or SHIBA program, said this is a time when older Americans figure out which plans work for them.

"Typically, they do a cost-benefit analysis and find out that it's a little less expensive to use a different insurance company,” Turner said. “So that's basically what they're able to do during the open enrollment period."

People can make a number of changes during open enrollment, including switching between Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans, or changing from one standalone prescription drug plan to another.

AARP is holding workshops for Idahoans who have questions about Medicare. Help is also available online on the SHIBA website, or by calling 1-800-247-4422 to set up an appointment with an advisor.

AARP suggests Idahoans remember the "four C’s" when comparing plans during the open enrollment period: cost, coverage, convenience and customer service. Turner said the last "C" is especially important.

"Customer service is a big thing,” he said, "because when you're dealing with health care and prescription drugs, you want to make sure that you're getting the coverage that you need to cover any of the health care issues that you might have."

Any changes to plans will go into effect at the start of 2018. More information on coverage in general is available online at medicare.gov.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - ID