Medicare Answers…

Your questions on Medicare and Medicaid answered by the local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) an objective, not-for-profit counseling, assistance and advocacy service sponsored by DPHHS of Montana and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

I have just received a packet from my Medicare Part D prescription plan.  Do I need to do anything?

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In Late September or early October, your current prescription drug plan will be sending you information about your drug plan for 2020. It will include an Annual Notice of Change and Evidence of Coverage Notices.  These notifications will let you know if your premium or deductible will be changing. The packet should also include a basic formulary of drugs covered by the plan in 2020. You should check this list of drugs to be sure your medications will be covered by your plan in 2020. If the premium or deductible has become costly or some of your medications are no longer covered, you will have an opportunity to enroll in the other plans available in our area during the Annual Enrollment Period from Oct 15th to Dec 7th.  If you don’t enroll in a new plan during the Annual Enrollment Period, you will most likely have to remain in your current plan until 2021.

Is there any help in learning about my drug or Medicare Advantage plan options?

The local SHIP counselors will be providing a limited number of one-on-one counseling sessions to help you identify your drug plan options from Oct 15th to Dec 7th. For Yellowstone County call the Alliance Resource Center at 406-259-5212 to reach a SHIP counselor to begin the process to evaluate your options. Call 1-800-551-3191 to reach a SHIP counselor in other areas. 1-800 MEDICARE is also available 24hr per day/7 days a week for phone counseling after October 15th. All counselors are going to need personal information including your Medicare number and a list of your medications including dosages and quantity. Also, on Weds., Oct 9th at 12:30 at the Alliance – Heights (935 Lake Elmo Dr) and Thurs., Oct 10th at 12:30 pm at Adult Resource Alliance (1505 Avenue D) the Resource Center Staff will present “Changes to Medicare D and Medicare Advantages plan for 2020.” Please call 259-5212 to reserve your seat for either site.

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Do you have a question about Medicare or Medicaid that you would like answered?  Please send your question to SHIP Program c/o Adult Resource Alliance of Yellowstone County, PO Box 20895, Billings, MT 59104 or rc@allianceyc.org