Kicking the Tires on Your Medicare Plan
Friday, October 8, 2021
BISMARCK, N.D. -- Older North Dakotans are being bombarded with reminders about Medicare enrollment. While it is tempting to block out some messaging, state officials said there is important information that could help save money on prescription drug costs.
Enrollment for Medicare 'Part D,' for people already on Medicare, begins Oct. 15 and runs through Dec. 7.
Karri Morris, Medicare State Health Insurance Counseling manager for the North Dakota Insurance Department, said there are few significant changes to the process this year, but enrollees should still see if there is a better drug plan for them.
"If they have medications that they are taking, they will want to review and compare the overall costs of the prescription plan, rather than just looking at the premium costs," Morris advised.
She pointed out people too often focus on premium costs and overlook big changes in out-of-pocket expenses for their medications. And with national celebrities doing television ads for services such as Medicare Advantage, Morris cautioned some of what is being offered either might not be available to them, or would not meet their needs.
Locally, Sanford Health is offering a new Medicare Advantage plan, but it is only available in select counties, which Morris contended is why it is important to reach out to the Insurance Department and speak with a counselor. They are scheduling appointments now, and Morris said it is best not to wait.
"You don't want to wait until the end of open enrollment," Morris cautioned. "At that time, they can encounter long wait times, or take the risk of missing the deadline of getting enrolled into a new plan."
Josh Askvig, state director for AARP North Dakota, said scammers will not be taking a break this year, either. He urged people to be mindful of anyone who might call or email and sound helpful, but really is not.
"They try and use that open enrollment period to heighten awareness, and they'll call and say, you know, 'In order to enroll, you need to pay this small fee,'" Askvig explained.
He said neither the state nor Medicare officials will call with such a message. Appointments for Medicare counseling can be scheduled on the Insurance Department's website, or by calling 888-575-6611.
get more stories like this via email
BALTIMORE, Md. -- Maryland civil rights groups are proposing a lawsuit against Baltimore County if it adopts its current redistricting plan, claiming …
LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nearly seven in ten Americans say billionaires are not paying their fair share in taxes, according to a new survey. Among likely …
BISMARCK, N.D. -- Over the coming weeks, North Dakotans will be clicking the "purchase" button as they order holiday gifts online, and fraud experts …
MINNEAPOLIS -- Several regional labor groups rallied in Minneapolis on Wednesday, demanding state leaders take action to reflect the sacrifices made …
GREENE, Iowa -- The proposed Build Back Better bill is getting attention for a host of funding possibilities, including one area flying under the …
MADISON, Wis. -- In a four-three decision this week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court backed a "least-change" approach to redistricting in the state…
OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- Michiganders are mourning the loss of four students after this week's school shooting at Oxford High School, and advocates …
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- Labor protests and strikes are on the upswing this fall, compared with 2020 when everyone hunkered as the pandemic closed …