Medicare open enrollment started Oct 15 - SHIBA can help

Monday, October 17, 2016

From the Office of the Insurance Commissioner

Medicare’s open enrollment period for prescription drug plans (Part D) and Medicare Advantage plans started Saturday, October 15 and runs through December 7.

The Washington state insurance commissioner’s Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) program is geared up to provide help in your local community.

“Just like the past few years, many Medicare plans are changing again this year,” said Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler. “Open enrollment is the time to review your existing coverage as well as look at other plans that might better meet your needs.”

SHIBA offers free help to people with Medicare questions.
“Our unbiased, statewide-network of trained volunteers help people answer questions and evaluate plans, and even search for plans online,” says Kreidler. “We also offer assistance with Original Medicare and other Medicare-related plans.”

Before you make your decision, consider these tips:
  • Plan costs and coverage can change every year, so carefully review all letters and notices your current plan sends you. 
  • Make a list of all current prescription drugs you take, the doses, and how often. Then, use the Plan Finder at Medicare.gov to compare Part D plans. 
  • Review the 2017 Medicare and You handbook. You should receive it by mid-October. 
  • If you have questions, call SHIBA at 800-562-6900 before you sign up. 
  • If you have limited income and need help paying for prescription drugs, you might qualify for the “Extra Help” program. To see if you qualify, SHIBA can tell you more about the program and help you apply. 

Every year, SHIBA offers free, unbiased Medicare workshops in local areas throughout the state.

Events in the vicinity:
  • Wednesday, Oct 19, 1-5pm, free individual counseling, Shoreline Library 345 NE 175th, Shoreline 98155, call 206-362-7550 or stop by the Information Desk to schedule a one-hour appointment.
  • Oct 22, 9:30am Welcome to Medicare, North Seattle College, 9600 College Way N, Seattle 98133
  • Oct 25, 9am, In-person Medicare counseling, Northshore Senior Center, 10201 E Riverside Dr, Bothell 98011
  • Oct 25, 1pm, Medicare Open Enrollment, Northshore Senior Center, 10201 E Riverside Dr, Bothell 98011
  • Wednesday, Nov 2, 1-5pm, free individual counseling, Shoreline Library 345 NE 175th, Shoreline 98155, call 206-362-7550 or stop by the Information Desk to schedule a one-hour appointment.
  • Nov 11, 9am, In-person Medicare counseling, Kenmore Senior Center, 6910 NE 170th St, Kenmore 98028
  • Wednesday, Nov 16, 1-5pm, free individual counseling, Shoreline Library 345 NE 175th, Shoreline 98155, call 206-362-7550 or stop by the Information Desk to schedule a one-hour appointment.
  • Nov 25, 9am, In-person Medicare counseling, Northshore Senior Center, 10201 E Riverside Dr, Bothell 98011
  • Dec 9, 9am, In-person Medicare counseling, Kenmore Senior Center, 6910 NE 170th St, Kenmore 98028
  • Dec 25, 9am, In-person Medicare counseling, Northshore Senior Center, 10201 E Riverside Dr, Bothell 98011
To schedule an appointment with a SHIBA volunteer:
  • Call the Insurance Consumer Hotline at 800-562-6900 and ask to speak with a SHIBA volunteer in your local area; or 
  • Go to: www.insurance.wa.gov/shiba
For help with Medicare in other languages, call:

Spanish, Medicare, 800-633-4227
Spanish, National Alliance for Hispanic Health, 866-783-2645
Korean, National Asian Pacific Center on Aging, 800-582-4259
Chinese, National Asian Pacific Center on Aging, 800-582-4218
Vietnamese, National Asian Pacific Center on Aging, 800-582-4336



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