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Health Enroller’s Guide to Medicare’s Open Enrollment Part 4

With so many details involved with Part D and Medicare Advantage plans, sometimes you just need a little help. If you’ve followed along with this blog series and done your homework, then you’ve reviewed your Annual Notice of Change to learn about what’s changing in your plan in 2018. Then, you requested access to your personalized online Medicare marketplace, entered your medications, and compared plans with the shop and compare tool. You’ve also collected mailers from insurance plans, printed documents from many of these websites, and maybe even printed a few of these blog posts–and now you feel like you’re drowning in paperwork. It’s time to check-in with an expert! Check out our top three picks for expert advice below.

1. Speak with a licensed Medicare Professional. You can choose to speak to a licensed benefits advisor by phone, or make an appointment to meet with them in-person (in most areas). If you would prefer to compare options on your own (rather than speak to an advisor) there is also an online plan comparison tool from Health Enroller that allows you to easily weigh the pros and cons of your different coverage options. Request access to your online plan comparison tool at HealthEnroller.com. Call to speak with one of Health Enroller’s licensed health benefits professionals by calling 844-680-7855.

2. State Health Insurance Assistance Program. Another expert resource is your local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). SHIP is a federally-funded service that provides free, unbiased Medicare counseling. You can find your local SHIP office here: www.shiptacenter.org. SHIP doesn’t sell insurance but can help you understand the differences among your choices. You can speak to a SHIP Counselor by phone or make an appointment to meet with them in-person (in most areas). This is a particularly busy time of year for SHIP with Medicare’s Open Enrollment period so be patient with the office. If you don’t hear from them in a couple of days, then call again. SHIP may have another name in your state.

3. The plan finder tool from HealthEnroller.com. No time to consult with an expert? Become your own expert by using the Medicare shop and compare tool from Health Enroller. You can choose to complete either a general or personalized plan search to compare your current coverage against all of the other plans in your area; the general search requires only your zip code, while the personalized search requires your zip code as well as your complete Medicare information, including your medications and general health status. If you find a plan you like, you can also enroll, without ever having to leave your home or wait on hold to speak with someone over the phone.

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