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Medicare Open Enrollment Under Way in Iowa

In 2015, there were more than 570,000 Medicare beneficiaries in Iowa. (MGD Boston/Morguefile)
In 2015, there were more than 570,000 Medicare beneficiaries in Iowa. (MGD Boston/Morguefile)
October 17, 2016

DES MOINES, Iowa – For the next several weeks, Iowans with Medicare plans have an opportunity to review their health care options for 2017.

Open enrollment for the program is under way and runs until Dec. 7.

Kent Sovern, state director of AARP Iowa, strongly recommends that people read Notices of Change with the program and evaluate drug plan options to help save money.

"Given the trend for high prescription prices and fluctuations, we encourage all Iowa Medicare beneficiaries especially to pay close attention to the Medicare Part D plans that they currently have and those others that are in the market and do a side-by-side comparison," he urges.

Other options during open enrollment include switching from traditional Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and changing from one Medicare Advantage plan to another.

Those who are happy with their current coverage do not need to do anything because re-enrollment will occur automatically.

In 2015, there were more than 570,000 Medicare beneficiaries in Iowa.

When reviewing options, Sovern suggests folks look at cost and coverage along with two other issues beginning with C.

"Convenience, well, we want to make sure if you are a recipient that you have access to the doctors, the pharmacies and so forth that are nearest to you, and finally customer service is an important part," he explains.

Because selecting a Medicare plan can be confusing, Sovern suggests using Medicare's plan finder program online at medicare.gov.

"People can also get help here in Iowa by contacting the Iowa Senior Health Insurance Information Program,” he points out. “That's free, confidential and completely unbiased objective plan comparisons and answers about Medicare."

AARP recently hosted an informational tele-town hall about Medicare with the Senior Health Insurance Information Program.

Residents can listen to the call for more resources about enrollment at aarp.org/ia.


Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - IA