Medicare enrollment runs through December

  • Tue Oct 16th, 2018 10:14am
  • News

Submitted by the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner

Medicare’s 2019 annual open enrollment period for prescription drug plans (Part D) and Medicare Advantage plans runs through Dec. 7. The Washington state Insurance Commissioner’s Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors program is ready to provide Medicare counseling help in local communities.

“Navigating Medicare plan options can be overwhelming,” said Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler. “Our trained SHIBA volunteer advisors in your community can answer your Medicare questions and help you search for plans online that work best for your personal situation. I encourage people to take advantage of this free, unbiased service.”

Consider these tips:

  • Plan costs and coverage can change every year, so review and keep all letters and notices from your current plan.
  • List all of the current prescription drugs you take, the doses and how often. Then, use Medicare’s Plan Finder ( to compare Part D plans.
  • Review the “2019 Medicare & You” handbook, which will be mailed in mid-October.
  • Call SHIBA at 1-800-562-6900 for answers.
  • Those on limited income and need help paying for prescription drugs, might qualify for the “Extra Help” program. SHIBA can provide more information and help you apply.
  • SHIBA offers free, unbiased Medicare open enrollment workshops in local areas throughout the state. To see if there’s a local event, visit SHIBA’s event calendar.

To schedule a one-on-one counseling appointment with a SHIBA volunteer, Monday through Friday, call the insurance consumer hotline at 1-800-562-6900 and ask to speak with a SHIBA volunteer in your local area; or call a local SHIBA office. For help with Medicare in Spanish, call Spanish, Medicare at 1-800-633-4227 or Spanish, National Alliance for Hispanic Health at 1-866-783-2645. Medicare also offers help in other languages ( than English and Spanish.