News From Terre Haute, Indiana

October 31, 2012

Ask Ship


The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE —

Q: When I turned 65, I chose a Medicare Advantage Plan that might not be the best plan for me now. I think I might need to switch a new plan. What should I do now?

A: The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (formerly the Open Enrollment Period) is Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. During this Annual Enrollment Period, you can:

• Change from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan.

• Change from a Medicare Advantage Plan back to Original Medicare.

• Switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another Medicare Advantage Plan.

• Switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn’t offer drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers drug coverage.

• Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn’t offer drug coverage.

• Join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.

• Switch from one Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to another.

• Drop your Medicare prescription drug coverage completely.

There are many helpful tools available to help you choose the plan that’s right for you.

The State Health Insurance Information Program is a free and unbiased counseling program provided by the Indiana Department of Insurance for Medicare beneficiaries in Indiana. SHIP has sites throughout the state where you can meet with a counselor.

SHIP is staffed by counselors who have completed intensive training  and can help you sort options.

To make an appointment with a SHIP counselor or find a site near you, call SHIP at 1-800-452-4800. You can also find us at www.medicare.in.gov.

Another great resource is the Plan Finder available at www.medicare.gov. By entering your zip code, prescription drug information, and a few other preferences, the Plan Finder can help you compare plans.

If you would like help using the Plan Finder, SHIP counselors can help.

SHIP will be hosting events throughout Indiana to help beneficiaries during annual enrollment. Many of these will provide one-on-one assistance and will require advanced registration. For a list of these events, visit the SHIP website at www.medicare.in.gov  and choose the SHIP Presentations link.

If you have questions about annual enrollment or anything else related to Medicare, contact SHIP for help. Call 1-800-452-4800, or visit www.medicare.

in.gov.