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Medicare Open Enrollment: OR Beneficiaries Encouraged to Compare Plans

There are nearly 860,000 Oregonians who have health coverage through Medicare. (HuzaimePhotography/Adobe Stock)
There are nearly 860,000 Oregonians who have health coverage through Medicare. (HuzaimePhotography/Adobe Stock)
October 14, 2019

PORTLAND, Ore. – Starting Tuesday, Medicare enrollees and folks new to the program can review their plans or sign up for 2020.

Open enrollment in the health insurance program runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, giving nearly 860,000 Oregonians the opportunity to change their coverage if they choose.

Lisa Emerson is a Medicare program analyst with Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance (SHIBA), which helps Oregonians navigate Medicare enrollment. She says there are more than two dozen plans to sift through.

"So it's very important to compare them and do that on an annual basis, because you could save considerable money,” she states. “And also, just making sure that you have the coverage of benefits that you need in the new year, making sure that certain prescriptions are covered on the individual prescription drug list."

AARP Oregon encourages folks to look at their options during open enrollment to make sure they have the right plan heading into next year. Changes go into effect at the beginning of 2020.

The SHIBA program receives a federal grant to assist Medicare beneficiaries and consists of a statewide network of counselors who can walk people through the process. The agency works with local partners to provide in-person assistance as well. Emerson encourages folks to reach out.

"SHIBA can be a great advocate and provide counseling and information and assistance," she stresses

Oregonians can find assistance online at SHIBA.Oregon.gov, or by calling 1-800-722-4134. And Emerson says the assistance program is always looking for volunteers.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - OR