How to get free help during Medicare Open Enrollment now underway

My Comments: The cost of health care as you get older is increasingly a problem for most of us. Few of us are blessed with enough money that it’s never a concern.

Once you reach age 65, Medicare becomes the default mechanism for paying for health care. Just remember, it only covers roughly 80% of the bill, which means you and I are responsible for the rest, always assuming the care you get is Medicare qualified to start with.

We have the option to purchase insurance to cover that 20% and to purchase coverage to help pay for our prescription drugs. That’s known as Plan D insurance. Keep in mind Congress continues to favor the drug companies by refusing to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices.

Each year, we all have the ability to shop for alternative insurance policies and to choose which ones serve us better. To some degree, that’s a function of whatever it is that ails you and by extension, what care your doctors decide is in your best interest.

Many people love the Medicare Advantage Plans. Personally, I don’t like them, preferring instead to pay out of pocket for dental care and hearing problems. After almost 50 years as a licensed insurance agent, too much of the premiums goes to line the pockets of the insurance companies involved.

Northern Kentucky Tribune \ 9 OCT 2021 \

Medicare Open Enrollment is now underway. Medicare has published the new plan information for Medicare Advantage Plans and Part D Drug plans available in 2022.

Open Enrollment is an important time of year when people on Medicare should compare their plans to make sure they have the appropriate, most affordable coverage available.

The Medicare SHIP Program, a non-profit organization, will provide comparison assistance at no charge to you. Medicare SHIP does NOT sell or endorse any insurance company and will help you make informed decisions with regard to your Medicare needs. Additionally, our program can screen you for money-saving benefits, such as Extra Help or the Medicare Savings Program, that could significantly save you money.
Medicare SHIP can help you compare Medicare Advantage Plans or Medicare Part D drug plans. Medicare Advantage Plans, sometimes called “Part C” or “MA Plans,” are offered by Medicare-approved private companies that sell a bundled all-in-one alternative to original Medicare.

Oftentimes, these plans include prescription drug coverage. Additionally, the plan becomes your primary medical insurance and is shown to your healthcare provider when you receive services. Sometimes, the plans have additional coverage not offered by original Medicare, like limited dental, vision, or hearing coverage. However, the plans also have restrictions like provider networks.
Alternatively, Medicare Part D plans are stand-alone insurance plans that cover your prescription medications. It is important to compare your drug insurance every year as plans change their premiums, deductibles, and formularies (the list of medications that they cover). Though your plan may have worked well in years past, without comparing your 2022 options there is no guarantee it is the best coverage for you in the new year!
Medicare Open Enrollment runs from October 15 to December 7. Do not delay and call your Medicare SHIP Program today for free assistance. Call the Medicare SHIP Program at 1-866-516-3051 or visit to find out more and to get information.