An Urgent Message for North Carolina Medicare Recipients: Deadline Nears to Change Your Rx Plan


Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin wants to remind the state's 1.3 million Medicare recipients that the Medicare Part D annual election period started Nov. 15, and will continue through the end of this year.

"The enrollment period has begun, so now Medicare recipients have approximately three more weeks to review their current coverage and make a decision about which plan to choose for the upcoming year," said Commissioner Wayne Goodwin. "North Carolinians have many prescription drug plans from which to choose - so many in fact, that the decision-making process can be daunting. Before you make any changes, call SHIIP at the Department of Insurance. We can help you understand your options."

The Department's SHIIP Division, or the Seniors' Health Insurance Information Program, employs trained staff who can answer questions about Medicare Part D.

Commissioner Goodwin also reminds Medicare recipients that financial assistance with Medicare Part D expenses may be available. "North Carolina has more than 80,000 people on Medicare who could be receiving Medicare's Low-Income Subsidy (Extra Help Program) benefits, but have not yet signed up. My staff at SHIIP can help you determine if you're eligible for this extra help and assist you in the application process. Call SHIIP today."

For the coming year, North Carolina will have 47 prescription drug plans (PDPs) available to Medicare beneficiaries, and 20 companies will administer the plans. Some existing plans also have changed their prescription formularies, monthly premiums and deductibles. [Click here for a link to the chart of the most current Part D companies and PDPs.]

For questions about Medicare Part D's annual election period, PDPs or other Medicare products, call SHIIP at 1-800-443-9354 or visit the SHIIP Web site.

CROSSPOSTED from Wayne's World

Comments

Thanks for these services, Wayne

It's real service like this that the citizens of NC need - especially senior citizens. I have a "date" with my mom to go over all of her stuff this weekend. I'm glad that the NC DOI provide resources that I can trust.

OMG !

For the coming year, North Carolina will have 47 prescription drug plans (PDPs) available to Medicare beneficiaries, and 20 companies will administer the plans. Some existing plans also have changed their prescription formularies, monthly premiums and deductibles. [Click here for a link to the chart of the most current Part D companies and PDPs.]

I'm sure glad they haven't made this confusing for these folks in any way !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I know it is not the Insurance Commissioner's fault and I give him a lot of credit for putting this info here.

Since you brought it up ....

Thank you, Foxtrot, and also to Linda for your very kind comments!

In fact, Foxtrot's comment gives me a perfect springboard to provide some illumination on the subject ...

Medicare Part D is a creation of the federal government, but the States have been tasked with helping educate both their senior citizens and their family members as they navigate through the maze of those various PDPs.

To that end, North Carolina has been designated the "national model" for helping senior citizens select the appropriate prescription drug plan and assisting them combat potential fraud against senior citizens as they select their plan. The Seniors Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP), thankfully, has been able to provide much guidance. In addition to our DOI paid staffworkers, we have upwards of 700-900 volunteers across the State that we've specially trained and certified to help people. There are volunteers in each county, usually at the local senior center or council on aging office. Only because of those dedicated volunteers are we at DOI able to maximize the benefit of this much-needed program for Tar Heel citizens.

As state Insurance Commissioner, I consider it a vital part of my mission to help broaden access to insurance and to arm the citizenry with choices among solvent, lawful products. Once educated on their options, then they may select what route is best for them. This is an additional form of consumer protection in my book.

It being a Saturday evening, I'm going to step off my soapbox for now ... May all BlueNC'ers have a wonderful weekend, and thanks again for your support in every way!

Excellent

Thanks Commissioner. It is rare that we have "public servants" that respond as you have and I will not forget it.

Again, thanks.