Medicare open enrollment

If you have a Medicare health or prescription drug plan, you should review and compare coverage options. Open enrollment runs through Dec. 7, and now is the time to make changes to your plan. Even if you’re happy with your current coverage, you might find a better fit for your budget or health needs. If you miss an open enrollment deadline, you’ll likely have to wait a full year before you can change your plan.

Here are five things every Medicare beneficiary can do:

  1. Review your plan notice. Be sure to read any notices about changes for next year, especially your “Annual Notice of Change” letter. Look at your plan’s information to make sure your drugs are still covered and your doctors are still in network.
  2. Think about what matters most to you. Do you need a new primary care doctor or does your network include the specialist you want for an upcoming surgery? Does another plan offer the same value at a lower cost? Take stock and determine if you need to make a change.
  3. Find out if you qualify for help paying for Medicare. Learn about programs in Illinois to help with the costs of Medicare premiums, Medicare Part A and Part B deductibles, coinsurance and co-payments, and Medicare prescription drug coverage.
  4. Shop for plans that meet your needs and fit your budget. If you find your current coverage still meets your needs, then you don’t need to make any changes.
  5. Check your plan’s star rating before you enroll. The Medicare Plan Finder includes star ratings on a one- to five-star scale. Visit to find information.

For more information, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227)  and say “Agent.”