Medicare Open Enrollment Begins

Open enrollment begins for Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans.  Open enrollment for the 2022 Medicare plan year is from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, 2021.

Medicare plans and coverage for prescription drugs change each year, so it is important for Oregonians who are enrolled in Medicare to evaluate their plan options and make changes during open enrollment.

The Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance (SHIBA) program with the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) is available to help Oregonians understand their Medicare options and benefits, provide enrollment guidance and answer any questions related to Medicare benefits. 

“Medicare is a critical benefit for older adults and people with disabilities and navigating the options available can be confusing,” said Jane-Ellen Weidanz, ODHS Long Term Services and Supports Administrator. “When it comes to open enrollment, do not wait until the last minute. Take time to review your options and make choices as soon as you can. SHIBA is here to help Oregonians make the right choice for them.”

SHIBA provides trained counselors to educate and advocate for Oregonians with Medicare. Local SHIBA counselors and SHIBA’s 2022 Oregon Guide to Medicare Insurance Plans can be found by visiting SHIBA.Oregon.gov.  Oregon Department of Human Services

Medicare’s annual enrollment period (October 15 – December 7) is an important time of year during which Medicare beneficiaries can review their current coverage and evaluate whether they want to remain with their current plan or switch to a new one that is a better fit for their health care needs. If you are interested in what Medicare Advantage plans have to offer, this is a good time to learn more and understand what’s available to you.

While evaluating the various offerings, it is also a good time to consider what type of care works best for you and in what setting you feel most comfortable receiving health care. With many new options available, it is worth the time to learn more about what is available to you:

  • Senior-Focused Primary Care Centers. These are stand-alone, primary-care practices designed specifically for seniors, where a care team oversees your health care, including your physical, behavioral and social health needs. The care team at each center is typically led by a primary care physician and often includes access to a nurse, social worker, pharmacist, behavioral health specialist and community engagement team that can help with transportation, food and housing. Both CenterWell and Conviva provide senior-focused primary care, with locations in many regions of the country.
  • In-Home Primary Care. The pandemic has taught us that many things can be taken care of at home, including certain aspects of our health care. Telemedicine and — in some cases — home visits by a physician are increasingly popular choices for those who have routine issues that don’t require a drive to the doctor’s office. From the treatment of diabetes and high blood pressure to physicals and vaccines, organizations such as Heal provide health care from the comfort of your living room. For Medicare beneficiaries, some care providers may also offer medication review, fall-risk evaluation and home visits after a hospital stay.
  • Urgent In-Home Care. Ever feel really sick, when even a drive to the urgent care clinic seems daunting? Receiving urgent care in your home may be an option, so long as your needs are neither life- nor limb-threatening. Where available, companies such as Dispatch Health will assess your need and, within a few hours, if medically appropriate, send a medical team to your home, treat your condition when possible and even call in prescriptions if necessary. Typical urgent issues that can be treated at home include shingles, sinus infections, bronchitis, flu and even food poisoning.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, be sure to educate yourself about plan options safely by using digital resources, including virtual educational events and one-on-one virtual meetings with licensed sales agents. Beneficiaries can also visit www.Medicare.gov; call 1-800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; or go to www.Humana.com/Medicare to learn more about Humana plans. Other providers may be available in the Humana network. Providers may also contract with other plan sponsors. Licensed Humana sales agents are available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time, seven days a week at 1-800-213-5286 (TTY: 711). With these resources, you’ll be able to more confidently select a 2022 Medicare Advantage plan that suits your specific health care needs.

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