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You Should Reevaluate Your Medicare Drug Plan Every Year

Posted on 10/07/19

Pharmacist talking to customer

Are you paying too much for your medications?

Every year, Medicare’s open enrollment period is October 15 - December 7. It can be tempting — and easier — for Medicare beneficiaries to simply stick with their current coverage. But that could be a mistake.

Medicare health and drug plans can make changes each year – things like cost, coverage, and which providers and pharmacies are in your networks. A medication you take may be covered in your prescription drug plan this year, but it might not be next year because drug plans change from year-to-year.

If you’re not reevaluating your Medicare Part D prescription drug plan every year, you may be paying too much for your medications.

Medicare beneficiaries should read their annual Notice of Change and review their health and prescription drug plan options for 2020 during the open enrollment period. Insurers must notify enrollees of any plan changes for the coming year before the end of September. People should read their Notice of Change carefully, compare their current plan with other available plans, and change to a different plan during open enrollment if it better meets their current needs.

Medicare health and prescription drug costs can vary widely between plans for the same drug or service. During Medicare open enrollment, some people may be able to save hundreds of dollars on out-of-pocket costs just by changing to a different plan.

The N.D. Insurance Department holds annual enrollment events across the state to help people in Medicare determine the best Medicare Part D prescription drug plan for them. Last year the department estimates it saved North Dakota Medicare beneficiaries attending these events more than $1.7 million.

2019 Medicare Part D Enrollment Events Schedule

To complete a Medicare Part D plan comparison at one of these events, or by phone or online, you will need a list of your medications, including dosages and frequency; your Medicare card; and the full name of your current plan.

Take the time to review your Medicare options and change your health plan and prescription drug plan for the upcoming year if it makes sense to do so.

Individuals will be helped on a first come, first served basis.

If you are not able to attend an enrollment event, call 1-800-Medicare (1-800-633-4227) or visit Medicare.gov to complete a comparison.

Grand Forks
Tuesday, Oct. 15
8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Canad Inns, 1000 S. 42nd St.

Fargo
Wednesday, Oct. 16
8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Country Inn & Suites, 3316 13th Ave. S.

Valley City
Thursday, Oct. 17
8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Senior Center, 139 2nd Ave. SE

Jamestown
Friday, Oct. 18
8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Gladstone Inn, 111 2nd St. NE

Dickinson
Monday, Oct. 21
8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Dickinson State University - Biesiot Activities Center, 398 State Ave.

Williston
Tuesday, Oct. 22
8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
ARC, 822 18th St. E

Minot
Wednesday, Oct. 23
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
and
Thursday, Oct. 24
8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Sleep Inn & Suites, 2400 10th St. SW

Bismarck
Friday, Oct. 25
8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Quality Inn, 1030 E. Interstate Ave.

This story is provided by AARP North Dakota. Visit the AARP North Dakota page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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