Medicare Open Enrollment Begins October 15

Just a quick reminder that Medicare Open Enrollment begins on October 15 and runs through December 7.  Any changes made will be effective January 1, 2019.  Here is a short list of the types of things that can be changed during open enrollment:

  • Join, Switch. Or Drop the Part D Prescription Plan

  • Switch from Medicare Advantage to Original Medicare and vice versa

  • Change from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another

Now is a good time to review your current Medicare plan. For instance, are you satisfied with the coverage and level of care you're receiving with your current plan? Are your premium costs or out-of-pocket expenses too high? Has your health changed, or do you anticipate needing medical care or treatment?

Beginning in 2019, Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan participants will no longer be exposed to a coverage gap often referred to as the “donut hole.” Due to changes made by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, Part D participants will see a reduction in their out-of-pocket costs for brand-name drugs from 35% to 25%.  The gap in coverage for generic drugs will not be closed until 2020. In 2019, Part D participants will pay 37% of the cost of generic drugs.

Determining what coverage you have now and comparing it to other Medicare plans can be confusing and complicated. We suggest that you pay attention to notices you receive from Medicare and from your existing Medicare plan.

We would also encourage you to visit or the NC Seniors Health Insurance Information Program at