In the face of ongoing concern regarding rising prescription drug costs, one population facing increasing needs are our vulnerable seniors. Thankfully, Medicare prescription drug plans and related benefits programs can help older adults pay for certain out-of-pocket costs with their medications. The most common of which is Medicare Part D.
Medicare Part D is a voluntary outpatient prescription drug benefit for people with Medicare. The Part D benefit is available through private plans that are approved by Medicare. While it sounds straightforward, it can be difficult to navigate. Each Part D plan can vary in cost and the medications covered, and plans can change from year to year. A plan that covers certain prescriptions this year might change and not cover them next year. There is only one open enrollment period per year, and that time is quickly approaching.
The annual Medicare Open Enrollment is October 15-December 7. During this time period, seniors can compare prescription drug plan coverage and decide on coverage for 2022. To help area seniors navigate this often-confusing enrollment process, the North Dakota Insurance Department and Valley Senior Services can help.
The North Dakota Insurance Department is available to help seniors and their families through telephone appointments for Medicare Part D enrollment assistance. Set up an appointment with them by calling 701-328-2440 Option #1 or toll-free 1-888-575-6611. You can also complete a plan comparison on the Medicare website at Medicare.gov.
Valley Senior Services Resource Specialists are also conducting annual Medicare Part D comparison sessions. Appointments for the sessions can be made via telephone for 2022 Medicare Part D Prescription drug plans during the open enrollment period. Session appointments must be scheduled in advance.
All appointments with Valley Senior Services are scheduled in advance on a first come, first serve basis. Make a Part D appointment with Valley Senior Services by calling the main office at 701-293-1440 and asking to speak to the Intake Worker.
Valley Senior Services staff cannot recommend a prescription drug plan or other Medicare Health plan, but will assist seniors in enrolling in their 2022 plan of choice. Seniors are asked to have a list of their medications and Medicare card handy when conducting appointments. Information from the Medicare website on drug plans available in North Dakota for 2022 are provided at these sessions.
Medicare Part D phone comparison sessions are available by calling 701-293-1440, appointments begin October 26-December 3. Sessions are scheduled in 45-minute time blocks typically beginning at 1:30 pm.
For more information, visit ValleySeniorServices.org. To reserve a time slot, please call 701-293-1440.