Council on Aging Offers Free Medicare Open Enrollment Counseling from October 15 through December 7


(Medicare Enrollees Can Make Appointments for Open Enrollment Now | Photo courtesy of Council on Aging of Central Oregon)

Anyone Turning 65 or Already Enrolled Can Meet by Phone with a Certified Medicare Benefits Counselor to Review Options for Their 2022 Coverage Needs

The Council on Aging of Central Oregon is once again providing free Medicare counseling to support older adults in navigating the annual open enrollment period, which runs from October 15 to December 7. The one-on-one phone sessions are provided by Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance (SHIBA) certified volunteers and they help Medicare plan enrollees to reevaluate their coverage — whether it’s Original Medicare with supplemental drug coverage, or Medicare Advantage — and make changes or purchase new policies if they want to do so.

During the Medicare open enrollment period, you can:

  • Switch from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage (as long as you’re enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B, and you live in the Medicare Advantage plan’s service area).
  • Switch from Medicare Advantage to Original Medicare (plus a Medicare Part D plan, and possibly a Medigap plan).
  • Switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another.
  • Switch from one Medicare Part D prescription drug plan to another.
  • Enroll in a Medicare Part D plan if you didn’t enroll when you were first eligible for Medicare.

“Understanding your Medicare benefits is an essential component of staying physically and financially healthy during the aging process,” said Council on Aging Executive Director Susan Rotella. “Our team of certified Medicare counselors are ready to help tri-county seniors get the right Medicare coverage for their needs.”

Medicare covers many medical costs, including visits to the doctor, prescription medications, and preventive care, such as mammograms, colonoscopies, diabetes treatment and blood pressure screenings. Enrollment in a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) or a prescription drug plan (Part D) must be completed by December 7, 2021 for coverage to begin without interruption on January 1, 2022.

To schedule an appointment for Medicare counseling, call the Council on Aging at 541-678-5483, extension 211.  Callers will be asked to leave a message, which will be returned by a certified Medicare counselor, usually by the end of the next business day. Due to continuing COVID-19 safety precautions, all Medicare Counseling appointments again this year will be over the phone only.

Asistencia con Medicare y consegeria de SHIBA en español están disponibles llamando al 541-325-6837.


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

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