Ask the Doctor: Medicare Open Enrollment
Open enrollment for Medicare is underway. If you just turned 65 or have a disability - this is the time to shop around for your health coverage. Learn more in our Ask the Doctor segment.
Open enrollment for Medicare is underway. If you just turned 65 or have a disability - this is the time to shop around for your health coverage.
To help us navigate that is Andrea Lalen-Kasten with the Northern Nevada State Health Insurance Assistance Program - or SHIP. If you have a question, call 858-2222 between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.
1) BEFORE WE GET TO SOME CHANGES IN MEDICARE FOR 2017... TELL US WHAT S.H.I.P. DOES?
SHIP provides free, unbiased Medicare information and counseling to Northern Nevadans.
It offers one-on-one assistance to Medicare beneficiaries and their advocates in person or by telephone. SHIP has helped more than 16,000 people in Northern Nevada between health fairs, presentations and one-on-one counseling sessions.
2) OPEN ENROLLMENT FOR MEDICARE BENEFICIARIES RUNS UNTIL DECEMBER 7TH. WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO BE SHOPPING AROUND RIGHT NOW?
If you're 65 and older or have a disability, you are eligible for Medicare. If you are still actively working and have creditable employer insurance coverage, you are encouraged to enroll in premium free Part A during your Initial Enrollment Period. When you plan to stop working or lose employer coverage, you have 63 days to enroll in Medicare Part B and D without a penalty. Each year, review your prescription coverage to make sure you have the most cost-effective plan for your situation.
3) DO YOU ANTICIPATE BIG CHANGES TO MEDICARE COVERAGE FOR 2017?
Rising premiums coupled with higher deductibles are expected in 2017.
Social Security recipients may not get a cost of living adjustment (COLA) in 2017.
And the COLA, or lack of one, will affect how much many Medicare recipients pay in premiums.
4) WHERE CAN PEOPLE FIND YOU IF THEY NEED *FREE HELP CHOOSING THEIR HEALTH COVERAGE?
There are a few locations in Northern Nevada and free counseling.
S.H.I.P. counselors are available on a first come first serve basis at the following locations.
Neil Rd. Community Center: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. (Spanish counselors are available on Thursday)
3925 Neil Road
Reno, NV, 89502
Sparks Senior Center: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. on the First Thursday of every month
97 Richards Way
Sparks, NV, 89431
Carson City Senior Center: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. on the First and Third Tuesdays of every month. This location offers counseling by appointment only. Call the Carson City Senior Center at (775) 883-2869.
911 Beverly Drive
Carson City, Nevada, 89706