Friday, October 13, 2017 - 08:00 am Categories:

BISMARCK, N.D. – Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread will kick off a series of eight, statewide Medicare Part D Annual Enrollment Events in Grand Forks on Tuesday, Oct. 17. The event will provide individuals 65 and older with the opportunity to review, plan or shop for coverage options with the assistance of trained, volunteer counselors.

“These annual enrollment events are just one of the valuable services the Department provides to our communities,” Godfread said. “Enrolling in or managing any program as complicated as Medicare Part D can be overwhelming and I’m pleased that we are able to guide North Dakotans through the process. I look forward to joining our talented counselors in my hometown of Grand Forks next week and perhaps, even assisting my own parents in managing their prescription drug plan at this event.”

Open enrollment for Medicare health or prescription drug plans (Part D) runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. 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 just enrolling 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 2018 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 2017 may not be included in the 2018 formulary; this will result in having to pay full price for the medication.

Individuals needing assistance with enrolling in or managing their Medicare Part D coverage should attend one of the eight, statewide events running from Oct. 17 through Nov. 9 and are asked to bring:

  • A list of medications, including dosages and frequency
  • Medicare card (if applicable)
  • Medicare Part D prescription drug plan card (if applicable)

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.

“We’re very fortunate in North Dakota to have the opportunity to provide this service to the state through the State Health Insurance Counseling program,” David Zimmerman, Consumer Assistance Division Director, said. “Our volunteer counselors are committed to providing the highest quality of unbiased information to North Dakotans at absolutely no cost.”