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Free counseling available to help navigate Medicare

Open Enrollment Period runs through December 7

Published Monday, November 6, 2017

CONCORD, N.C., Nov. 2, 2017 – Change is a part of everyday life and change may be necessary to get the most out of your health care benefits. Seniors have until Dec. 7 to get free guidance on Medicare changes. 


Each year during the Open Enrollment Period, Medicare beneficiaries have the opportunity to compare and evaluate their current plans and make changes as necessary. By comparing plans, beneficiaries can save money and make certain that their 2018 plan will meet their needs.

All changes must be made by Dec. 7 to ensure that coverage can begin without interruption on Jan.1.

“SHIIP saved North Carolina Medicare Beneficiaries more than $44.3 million in 2016,” said North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey. “SHIIP is not only essential, but it is clearly cost-effective for our seniors.”

SHIIP is a division of the North Carolina Department of Insurance and offers free, unbiased information about Medicare, Medicare prescription drug coverage, Medicare Advantage, long-term care insurance and other health insurance issues. In addition to helping Medicare beneficiaries compare and enroll in plans during the Open Enrollment Period, SHIIP counselors can help people find out if they are eligible for Medicare cost savings programs.

Here are some of the ways to review and compare plans available for 2018:

  • Get one-on-one help from your local SHIIP office by calling Cabarrus County Department of Human Services at 704-920-1400 (choose option 7, then option 2).
  • Visit medicare.gov/find-a-plan to compare your current coverage with all of the options that are available in your area, and enroll in a new plan if you decide to make a change.
  • Review the Medicare & You handbook. It was mailed to people with Medicare in September.
  • Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) 24-hours a day, seven days a week, to find out more about your coverage options. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.

For more information about SHIIP and the Medicare Open Enrollment Period, call 1-855-408-1212 or visit www.ncshiip.com.

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