The Medicare Open Enrollment Period (OEP) will be Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. This is the time of year where Medicare recipients can make changes that will take effect Jan. 1. You can change Part D drug plans, change Medicare Advantage plans, change from a Medicare Advantage plan to Original Medicare (and choose a supplement plan and a Part D drug plan), or change from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan.

Medicare recipients with a Part D plan should have received by Sept. 30 an Annual Notice of Change in their current coverage. It is wise to make an appointment with a SHIIP counselor to compare plans available to you in 2018 and select a plan that fits your needs. There may be a plan that will provide needed coverage for your situation better than your current plan. Drug plans change their costs, tier structures, the drugs they cover and deductibles, which can affect your annual costs.

Linda Henderson, volunteer Medicare counselor, sponsored by Bethany Life in Story City, is available to make those comparisons for you. She is scheduling three Check Up Days, where she will only do Part D comparisons. Those days are Tuesday, Nov. 7 and Nov. 21, and Monday, Nov. 27. The first appointment is at 9 a.m., and the last is at 3:30 p.m. You can call or go to Bethany Life front desk on Lafayette Ave to get the form, fill it out and send it back several days ahead of time so she can enter your information into the system. Once that is done, she will go over your results at your appointment. The appointment will only be about 30 minutes, 45 minutes if a couple comes in at the same time.

Henderson will also have other days available to do Rx plan comparisons or to discuss any other Medicare related issues.

Call 515-733-4325 to set up an appointment with Linda Henderson during the OEP. It could save you money! All appointments are free and confidential.