<< All News Wednesday, October 9, 2019 - 08:00 am Categories:
Health Insurance

BISMARCK, N.D. – The Insurance Department will again be hosting nine, statewide Medicare Part D Annual Enrollment Events beginning on Tuesday, Oct. 15 in Grand Forks. The events will provide Medicare beneficiaries of all ages with the opportunity to review, plan or shop for coverage options with the assistance of trained, volunteer counselors. This year, the hours of operation have been extended for the Fargo, Minot and Bismarck events, communities where attendance has been highest in past years.
“These annual enrollment events are one of the most valuable services the Department provides to individuals eligible for Medicare and Medicare beneficiaries in North Dakota,” Godfread said. “A great deal of thought, time and resources go into hosting these statewide events and I encourage anyone who is able to attend to do so. If you are not able to attend an event and have questions, you can always reach out to the Department by phone, email or our website.”

Open enrollment for Medicare health or prescription drug plans (Part D) runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, 2019. It’s just as important for North Dakotans already enrolled in Medicare Part D to review their current coverage during this time as it is for those enrolling for the first time because they can determine what features of coverage matter most to them and shop for plans that meet their needs and fit their budget. For example, changes companies make to their plan’s 2020 formulary (list of approved medications) and the tier assignments may be extremely costly if an individual does not review and make changes to their coverage. Any of the medications covered by a plan in 2019 may not be included in the 2020 formulary; this will result in having to pay full price for the medication. 

“Department staff and SHIC counselors are dedicated to assisting as many individuals as we can,” Janelle Middlestead, Consumer Assistance Division Director, said. “Of course, we recommend that individuals new to Medicare visit with us before enrolling but we also recommend that those already enrolled attend an event as well. This year, however, individuals should be sure to visit Medicare.gov to create an account before attending an event to make the plan comparison process more efficient.”

Individuals needing assistance with enrolling in or managing their Medicare Part D coverage should attend one of the nine, statewide events running from Oct. 15-25 and are asked to:

  • Bring a list of medications, including dosages and frequency
  • Bring their Medicare card (if applicable)
  • Bring their Medicare Part D prescription drug plan card (if applicable)
  • Create a Medicare.gov account online

The State Health Insurance Counseling (SHIC) program hosts the events offering free, confidential assistance to North Dakotans through trained, volunteer counselors. Counselors are trained in all aspects of senior insurance issues, such as Medicare, Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage Plans. The SHIC program is administered by the Department’s Consumer Assistance Division.

SHIC counselors will be visiting the following cities on the dates listed below.

Grand Forks Tuesday, Oct. 15
8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Canad Inns
1000 S 42nd St.
(701) 772-8404
Fargo Wednesday, Oct. 16
8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Country Inn & Suites
3316 13th Ave. S
(701) 234-0565
Valley City Thursday, Oct. 17
8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
South Central Senior Center
139 2nd Ave. SE
(701) 845-4300
Jamestown Friday, Oct. 18
8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Gladstone Inn
111 2nd St. NE
(701) 252-0700
Dickinson Monday, Oct. 21
8 a.m. – 2 p.m. MST
Henry Biesiot Activities Center
398 State Ave.
(701) 483-1918
Williston Tuesday, Oct. 22
8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
822 18th St. E
(701) 572-9272
Minot Wednesday, Oct. 23
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sleep Inn & Suites
2400 10th St. SW
(701) 837-3100
Minot Thursday, Oct. 24
8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Sleep Inn & Suites
2400 10th St. SW
(701) 837-3100
Bismarck Friday, Oct. 25
8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Quality Inn
1030 E Interstate Ave.
(701) 223-1911

For more information, visit www.nd.gov/ndins/shic-medicare or call (701) 328-2440.

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