It's Medicare enrollment time, and that means there are tons of commercials trying to persuade seniors to call for "help" with decisions.
Those commercials are paid for by companies trying to sell a certain product - but there is a service in Louisiana that is aimed at just providing help, not selling anything.
Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon is reminding Medicare beneficiaries that the Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) is available to help them navigate the Medicare Open Enrollment Period. During this time, consumers are advised to review their Medicare coverage options and benefits to make the best choice for their health care needs. Medicare Open Enrollment runs through December 7.
“During this COVID-19 pandemic, beneficiaries should assess their health care needs more closely than ever and determine whether their current coverage is sufficient,” said Commissioner Donelon. “Our SHIIP staff is available by phone or virtual counseling to help clear some of the confusion surrounding Medicare plans and help consumers get the coverage they need during these challenging times.”
During Medicare Open Enrollment, beneficiaries can adjust their existing plans, such as shifting from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan, switching from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another, or making changes to Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plans. Beneficiaries contemplating switching companies should make sure that their preferred doctors are in the new company’s network of providers.
Those satisfied with their coverage are not required to take action ahead of the upcoming year.
The Senior Health Insurance Information Program is housed within the Louisiana Department of Insurance and has partner organizations across the state that offer free and confidential help with Medicare and other health insurance. Medicare beneficiaries can contact SHIIP by calling the LDI at 1-800-259-5300 or visiting www.ldi.la.gov [mailstats.ldi.la.gov].