October 14, 2022
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Medicare’s annual open enrollment period starts Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. This is the time to review your current Medicare coverage and decide if there are better coverage options for you based on changes to current plans, your budget and your health needs. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can:
- Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa.
- Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, if you’re on Original Medicare.
- Switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan.
The Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with all of these decisions. Your local SHIBA advisors are ready to provide one-on-one counseling appointments over the phone or through online video, and some locations are offering face-to-face counseling.
SHIBA provides free, unbiased and confidential help with Medicare and other health care options to people of all ages and backgrounds across our state.
“Navigating Medicare plan options can be overwhelming,” says Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler. “Our SHIBA volunteer advisors and staff provide consumers a valuable service. They can help you compare plans for 2023 and other information to help you make an informed decision about what Medicare plans work best for your personal situation.”
Medicare is not a one-size fits all program. Each person’s needs, situation and benefits are different – and that includes spouses who may have their own unique Medicare plan. So, before you make a final decision, consider these tips:
- Plan costs and coverage can change every year, so review and keep all letters and notices your current plan sends you.
- List all of the current prescription drugs you take, the doses and how often. Then, use the Plan Finder at Medicare.gov to compare Part D plans.
- Review the 2023 Medicare & You handbook. You should receive it in the mail by mid-October.
- If you have questions, call SHIBA at 1-800-562-6900 before you sign up.
- Attend an online SHIBA webinar -- check out our online events calendar.
To schedule your counseling appointment with a SHIBA volunteer, Monday through Friday:
- Find the phone number for the local SHIBA office near you.
- Contact us online.
- Call us at 1-800-562-6900 and ask to speak with a SHIBA volunteer in your area.
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