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Minnesota’s Senior LinkAge Line can help during Medicare special enrollment periods

Some Minnesotans have more time to make decisions

12/14/2018 10:59:59 AM

Contact:
For media inquiries only
Sarah Berg
Communications
(651) 431-4901
Sarah.Berg@state.mn.us
 
Although the annual Medicare open enrollment period ended Dec. 7, some Minnesotans have more time to make Medicare decisions – and specialists from Minnesota’s Senior LinkAge Line can help.
 
Special enrollment periods remain for most beneficiaries who live in one of the 66 Minnesota counties that are losing their Cost Plans as of Dec. 31, 2018, due a change in federal law.
 
As of Jan. 1, 2019, Medicare beneficiaries whose Cost Plan ended Dec. 31, 2018, and who did not enroll in a new plan will return to Original Medicare (Parts A and B only). Returning to Original Medicare could be very costly so these beneficiaries should know that:

  • Through Feb. 28 they can enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan and a Part D prescription drug plan; or
  • Through March 4 they can purchase a Medigap policy without a health screening. 
Choices must be made by the end of the month to be in effect for the first day of the following month.
 
New in 2019 is the Medicare Advantage Enrollment Period from Jan. 1 to March 31. During this time any Medicare beneficiary who begins 2019 enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan can:

  • Switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan that includes Part D;
  • Drop their Medicare Advantage plan and return to Original Medicare;
  • Enroll in a Part D prescription drug plan.
“It’s important for consumers to review their Medicare coverage  and make sure the plan is both affordable and provides access to doctors, clinics, hospitals and pharmacies they want and need,” said Kari Benson, executive director of the Minnesota Board on Aging, which operates the Senior LinkAge Line. “Line specialists can help by providing comprehensive, unbiased Medicare counseling.”
 
More information about plans is available at Medicare.gov/find-a-plan. More information about Medicare open enrollment in Minnesota can be found at SeniorLinkAgeLine.com.
 
Senior LinkAge Line, at 1-800-333-2433, is a free statewide service of the Minnesota Board on Aging in partnership with Minnesota’s Area Agencies on Aging. Senior LinkAge Line provides help to older Minnesotans, their families and friends, helping them connect to local services, find answers and get the help they need. The Senior LinkAge Line does not sell or market any Medicare or insurance product.  
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