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15 Million Reasons for Iowans to Review Medicare Rx Plans

The open enrollment period for those on Medicare who want to change their prescription drug plans runs through Dec. 7. Credit: Lisa F. Young.
The open enrollment period for those on Medicare who want to change their prescription drug plans runs through Dec. 7. Credit: Lisa F. Young.
October 15, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa – This is a critical time of year for the more than 500,000 Iowans who rely on Medicare for their health care, as the annual open enrollment period begins today.

According to Kris Gross, director of the Iowa Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP), over the next seven-plus weeks all recipients should take a fresh look at their prescription drug plan and make any needed changes – even if they've been happy with it.

"The reason for that is because all of these plans, the Part D and Medicare Advantage plans, have a one-year contract with Medicare," she says. "They can change their premiums, deductibles, co-payments, co-insurance, the drugs they cover, the networks they work with, all of those things can change from year to year."

Gross says during last year's open enrollment, SHIIP helped Iowans save more than $15 million, and most of that was from changing Part D and Medicare Advantage plans.

For those who want help reviewing plans available for 2016 to find which one is best for them, Gross says they can contact SHIIP from anywhere in the state.

"We have counselors in most counties in Iowa and they can sit down with someone face to face and get a comparison done, get help understanding the changes or what their options are," she says. "For people who want to do it themselves, the Medicare website has an option for comparing plans on the Medicare plan finder."

The Medicare open enrollment period runs through Dec. 7.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - IA