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Sign-Up Under Way for Medicare Part D Coverage

Does your Medicare Part D plan work well for you? Even so, now is the time to double-check your coverage. Changes can be made through Dec. 7. Credit: Jerry Oster
Does your Medicare Part D plan work well for you? Even so, now is the time to double-check your coverage. Changes can be made through Dec. 7. Credit: Jerry Oster
November 3, 2015

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Enrollment is now open through Dec. 7 for Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage.

Sarah Jennings, state director of AARP South Dakota, says even for people who are happy with their current coverage, it's a good idea to double-check it.

"You can't assume that your plan is going to stay exactly the same from year to year, and that's why we really encourage people to take a look each year in this open enrollment period to make sure they have the plan that meets their needs at the lowest cost," she points out.

Medicare.gov says premiums for 2016 should stay stable, with an average price of just over $32 a month.

Jennings says there are a number of places to get information about Part D options, and help with signing up.

"Medicare actually has a great tool at Medicare.gov, and you can put in the drugs you take and where you are, and doctors and things like that, and see what's going to be covered,” Jennings explains. “But if you're not comfortable doing that yourself, we have a great service here in South Dakota through the SHIINE program."

SHIINE stands for Senior Health Information and Insurance Education. It is confidential help navigating the Medicare system, available online or by calling 800-536-8197.

Jennings says just a few minutes can help avoid problems paying for prescriptions next year.

"By taking that 10 to 15 minutes to check this out, you can save yourself a lot of money and headache in the future,” she stresses. “So, we really do encourage people to take the time to look at their options."

Jerry Oster, Public News Service - SD