Medicare Open Enrollment

Ready, set, go…get a head start on 2019’s open enrollment.

From October 15 to December 7, you’ll have a chance to make key changes to your Medicare healthcare coverage that goes into effect January 1, 2019. Even if you’ve been happy with your current plan, its very important to review alternatives especially if you have been prescribed new medications or your health has changed. Research shows that people with Part D could lower their costs by shopping among plans each year. There may be other plans that cover the drugs you take with fewer restrictions and/or lower prices. During this time, you can switch from original Medicare to Medicare Advantage, or vice versa. You can also switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another or from one Medicare Part D (prescription drug) plan to another.

To compare plans, go to and click on the personalized search. The site is secure, so no worries about the safety of your personal information. The comparison will list all the insurance choices that fit your needs plus it gives a plan summary for the year. If computers aren’t your thing, you can get one-on-one help from a knowledgeable Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) volunteer counselor.

A SHIIP counselor can complete a personalized review. They may be able to save you money and still have access to the drugs you need. SHIIP is a free, confidential service of the State of Iowa Insurance Division. SHIIP counselors are available across the state to help answer your medicare questions.

To find an Iowa SHIIP counselor in your area, go to or call Milestones Area Agency on Aging toll free at 1-855-410-6222. In Illinois contact Western Illinois Area Agency on Aging (309)793-6800.