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Medicare Part D Open Enrollment – An Opportunity to Save

SHIIP Volunteer at PACHS Can Help

October 19, 2017
Emmetsburg News

Only 13% of people with Medicare Part D plans change their drug plans each year (on average). Relatively few people on Medicare have used the annual open enrollment period from October 15 to December 7 to switch Part D prescription drug plans. Yet in Iowa, 50% of the people who received help from the state of Iowa's Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) changed plans for 2016 and had combined savings over $16 million. If you're not doing an annual check of your Part D coverage you could be missing out on big savings. Palo Alto County Health System (PACHS) has an on-site SHIIP volunteer that can help you review your plan.

Every year by September 30 people with Part D plans receive the "Annual Notice of Change," sent out by plans to explain changes to the formulary (drugs covered), benefits and costs. This is your first chance to review your coverage. You should also do a comparison of Part D plans to see if another plan would provide you better coverage at a lower cost for 2017.

If you would like help doing a comparison of plans, you may sign up for a confidential appointment with a SHIIP volunteer at Palo Alto County Health System (PACHS). In one hour or less the SHIIP counselor can complete a review, let you know if you can save money and make sure you have access to the drugs you need in 2017. SHIIP's services are free, confidential and objective. Any change you make will be effective January 1, 2017.

Article Photos

Carla Rose, SHIIP Volunteer at PACHS, is taking appointments to help people who would like to compare Medicare Part D plans during Medicare's open enrollment. To make an appointment call 712-852-5522. --Submitted photo

"We will have two SHIIP volunteers on-site all day on October 17", commented Lori Morey, local SHIIP coordinator. "After that date, our local volunteer will make appointments as needed throughout the open enrollment period."

Those wanting to review their Part D plans with the SHIIP volunteer should call the SHIIP line at PACHS, 712-852-5522. Please leave your name and a phone number and the SHIIP volunteer will call you back to schedule a day and time for your appointment.

If you have questions about Medicare Part D contact SHIIP at 1-800-351-4664 (TTY1-800-735- 2942), go to or e-mail



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