• Last modified 221 days ago (Oct. 19, 2023)


Choosing a Medicare plan

Staff writer

Open enrollment for Medicare and Medicare Part D plans is now through Dec. 7.

Seniors can enroll online or get help locally.

The county Department on Aging offers help sorting through available plans, director Lou Turk said.

Local pharmacies also help seniors sort through Part D plans for prescriptions.

Seniors are able to go to Turk’s department for initial enrollment in Medicare, as well as to compare Part D plans, which can change annually.

“People will come in and we will compare what they have,” Turk said. “We go to the Medicare site and fill out the information.”

She recommends making an appointment for help with Medicare or Plan D enrollment.

Medicare’s website lets people choose whether they want a Medicare supplement or a Medicare Advantage plan.

“Some people can get by with Medicare Advantage plans,” she said.

To enroll, the person needs a Medicare number, assigned by Social Security.

People should enroll for Medicare seven months before they turn 65. If they fail to enroll by that time, they could pay a penalty afterward.

To get a Medicare number, contact Social Security, Turk said.

To compare Plan D companies, seniors need to list their current prescriptions.

Whether seniors need help with Medicare or Part D, Turk urges them to call the department or their pharmacy to make an appointment.

“I’m going to start taking appointments Oct. 23,” she said. “If at all possible, have their pharmacy do a price comparison.”

Senator Roger Marshall’s office offers tips to avoid common Medicare-related scams.

  • Block unwanted calls and text messages about Medicare open enrollment.
  • Don’t give personal or financial information in response to an unexpected request.
  • Resist pressure to act immediately. Legitimate businesses will give you time.
  • Never pay with a gift card or money transfer.
  • Look into companies you have never heard of.

Last modified Oct. 19, 2023