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Extension provides assistance during Medicare open enrollment

Fall Medicare open enrollment is here and Johnson County K-State Research and Extension is offering personalized assistance to Johnson County residents through plan comparisons. This service is available throughout the enrollment period, which runs through Dec. 7, 2018.

Each year, the cost you pay for your Prescription Drug plan (Part D) can change. Johnson County K-State Research and Extension is hosting a Medicare Part D Walk-in Help Day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018, at the Sunset Drive Office Building, 11811 S. Sunset Drive, in Olathe. There is no charge for this free service. No appointment is needed to stop in. First come/first served. The building opens at 8 a.m. You can download in advance a Medicare Prescription Drug Worksheet at the extension website.

During this event, a Senior Health Insurance Counseling for Kansas (SHICK) volunteer will review your current plan and compare it to others to see if you can save money. They will help you consider the following changes before you decide what to do:

  • Are all your medications covered with your current plan for 2019?
  • Will you see any increase in your cost-shares at the pharmacy?
  • Can you use any pharmacy you want?
  • Do you have any restrictions on your medications, such as quantity limits, step therapy or prior authorization?

If you are not able to attend the event, residents can contact the Johnson County Extension office at 913-715-7000 or email Denise Dias, Family and Consumer Sciences agent, to receive a Medicare Prescription Drug Worksheet, or download one from the Extension website. Completed worksheets should be returned to Dias. Residents will then receive a comparison of the top three plans with an explanation and instructions.

 Free Medicare Counseling Available

It is recommended that most people enroll in Medicare when they turn 65, even if they have health insurance from an employer. There are only certain times of the year when people can enroll. People should sign up three months before their 65th birthday, whether they want to begin receiving benefits or not. If you are new to Medicare or require additional assistance, you can get free counseling during the open enrollment period from extension agent Denise Dias. Call 913-715-7000 with questions or to make an appointment, or contact the Senior Health Insurance Counseling for Kansas (SHICK) Hotline at 1-800-860-5260.