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Medicare Part D enrollment event scheduled in Minot

BISMARCK – The Insurance Department will again be hosting nine, statewide Medicare Part D annual enrollment events, including a stop in Minot Oct. 23 and 24.

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.

Open enrollment for Medicare health or prescription drug plans (Part D) runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. It is as important for North Dakotans already enrolled in Medicare Part D to review their 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 individuals do not review and make changes to their coverages. 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.

Individuals should visit Medicare.gov to create an account before attending an event to make the plan comparison process more efficient. They also are asked to bring: a list of medications, including dosages and frequency; their Medicare cards (if applicable); and Medicare Part D prescription drug plan card (if applicable).

The State Health Insurance Counseling 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 volunteers will be in Minot Oct. 23 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Oct. 24 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Sleep Inn & Suites. They will be in Williston Oct. 22 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at ARC.

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