Written by Missouri SMP

The Missouri Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) wants to remind you that Open Enrollment for Medicare Part D and Advantage Plans is right around the corner.  

Open enrollment annually occurs from October 15 to December 7. If you are on Medicare,  you have an opportunity to change your Part D Prescription Drug Plan and/or Advantage plan  during open enrollment. 

The Missouri SMP highly recommends that you look at the plans, their costs, their benefits  and how they work with your medications. Because plans change every year, it’s important for  beneficiaries to review their options annually as well. 

To get ready for open enrollment, you need to know your Medicare number, your preferred  pharmacy, your primary care physicians if you are considering an Advantage Plan that has preferred  providers, and a list of your prescription drugs. You may visit medicare.gov to enroll online. 

You can review your options with the help of a State Health Insurance Program counselor. In  Missouri, that’s called the CLAIM program, which can be reached calling toll free 1-800-390-3330. A certified CLAIM counselor will help you understand your options.  

You can also call our Young at Heart Resources office — 888-844-5626 — to get Open Enrollment help from one of our benefits counselors.

During this time, you also may be faced with phone calls from salespeople. Medicare has put  into place guidelines that regulate the sales of Medicare Advantage plans. For example, those  companies are not allowed to call you (without an invitation from you) if you are not already  enrolled in a plan through them. 

Medicare is complex, which is why the Missouri SMP assists beneficiaries, their families,  and caregivers to prevent, detect, and report health care fraud, errors, and abuse. To avoid becoming the target of abuse or fraud, do not give out your Medicare information  to anyone calling you on the phone or emailing you. If the callers are from Medicare or your  insurance company, they would already have that information. 

If you have questions, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or the Missouri CLAIM.  To learn more or report suspected Medicare fraud, call the Missouri SMP at 1-888-515-6565. 

This project was supported, in part by grant number 90MPPG0040, from the U.S. Administration for Community  Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under  government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do  not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.

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