Starting October 15 and continuing through December 7, 2016, Tennessee’s 1.3 million Medicare beneficiaries will have the opportunity to review their current Medicare plan, including drug coverage, and determine which plan is best for them. Needs and plans change from year to year, and the Medicare system can often be difficult to understand and navigate. But Open Enrollment is something no beneficiary should avoid or ignore.
Medicare beneficiaries in Tennessee do not have to navigate this complicated system alone. A state program provides more than 300 counselors to help guide Tennesseans through the Medicare Open Enrollment process. The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (or TN SHIP for short) is free to all of Tennessee’s Medicare beneficiaries. TN SHIP counselors can review a beneficiary’s current Medicare plan and determine the best fit for that individual. The TN SHIP program neither sells, nor endorses, specific plans; it provides free and objective counseling on Medicare plans and solutions. Last year the TN SHIP program saved Tennesseans an average of $2,245 on their annual prescription drug cost.
The Commission on Aging and Disability encourages all Tennessee Medicare beneficiaries to review their Medicare plan annually for the following reasons:
Formulary changes – Your plan may be making changes to how and if your medications are covered.
Premium changes – There may be changes in the amount you pay for your plan premium.
New plans – Each year, new plans are introduced that may offer benefits that better fit your situation.
Savings – Switching to another plan may save you money.
Coverage Gap Information – Comparing plans will help you identify when or if you will end up in the Part D coverage gap period.
If a beneficiary has questions or needs help reviewing their plan, that person should call TN SHIP at 1-877-801-0044.