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Medicare 2017 Open Enrollment is just around the corner!

The Open Enrollment Period (October 15 – December 7, 2017) for Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C) and Prescription Drug Plans (Part D) will be here before you know it and it is very important to re-evaluate your Medicare options for 2018 during this period.  Each year Medicare plans can change premiums, deductibles, co-pays and the prescription formulary (list of drugs they cover).  In addition, Medicare Advantage Plans (HMOs & PPOs) often add and/or drop primary and specialty physicians, skilled nursing facilities, and hospitals.

Your current plan is required to notify you by September 30th of any changes for the coming year.  Please be sure to review the Annual Notice of Coverage (ANOC) letter.  If you decide to stay with your current plan there is no further action required.  If you switch your Medicare Advantage Part C or Part D plan during the Open Enrollment Period it will take effect January 1, 2018.

SHINE appointments fill up quickly so don’t forget to call your local Senior Center in late September or early October to make your SHINE appointment.  You can also call the Regional SHINE office at 508/375-6762 in Barnstable Village to set up an appointment.

Medicare Open Enrollment Presentations:  The C&I Regional SHINE office is offering community presentations to explain Medicare coverage options, plan costs and changes in 2018.  Advanced registration is required.  Read more and view list of dates, times, locations and registration contact info.

Remember – don’t wait until it is too late.  If you don’t make any changes during the Open Enrollment Period (Oct. 15-Dec. 7, 2017) you may have to stay with your existing plan for another whole year.

SHINE Program LogoThe Barnstable County Department of Human Services administers the regional office for the Cape and Islands SHINE Program (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone). SHINE counselors provide free health insurance information, counseling, and assistance to Massachusetts residents with Medicare and their caregivers.