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Free Medicare Enrollment Event

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To assist Mahaska County residents with Medicare Open Enrollment for Part D drug coverage and Medicare Advantage plans, Mahaska Health Partnership will host a free, two-day Open Enrollment Event on Oct. 29 and 30 in the Education Centers, entrance #2.

According to MHP Volunteer Coordinator Kim Langfitt, MHP will have three Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) Counselors ready to assist Medicare recipients with open enrollment. “Every year, participants of Medicare Part D drug plans and Medicare Advantage plans can change their benefits and costs,” Langfitt explained. “These changes are announced Oct. 1 and go into effect Jan. 1.

“That is why it is so important for everyone on Medicare to take advantage of the open enrollment period, Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. Doing a plan review could save you money in 2014.”

According to Langfitt, SHIIP Counselors will be available by appointment Oct. 29 and 30 from 9 am to 4 pm. Each appointment will take approximately one hour, and couples should plan on two hours.

“Everyone on Medicare should compare plans each year,” Langfitt stressed. “Both Part D and Medicare Advantage plans can change premiums, deductibles, co-payments and drugs covered annually. You could be surprised on Jan. 1 if you stay with your current plan and find it doesn’t provide the coverage you want or need.”

SHIIP counselors do not recommend insurance companies. Instead, they answer questions and provide unbiased information to help Iowans on Medicare make well-informed decisions regarding their healthcare needs.

Langfitt said that this year, Medicare Open Enrollment overlaps with the initial enrollment period for the new Health Insurance Marketplace. “We need to assure folks that their Medicare is not changing and they need to do a review just like they have done in years past to get the best plan for 2014.”

To make an appointment with a SHIIP counselor on Oct. 29 or 30, call Langfitt at 641.672.3342.