Medicare’s 2019 annual open enrollment period for prescription drug plans (Part D) and Medicare Advantage plans starts Oct. 15, 2018 and runs through Dec. 7. The Washington state Insurance Commissioner’s Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) program is ready to provide Medicare counseling help in your local community. Here are the dates, times and locations in Mason County:

Monday, October 15, 2018
Time Event Location
11am Medicare Open Enrollment Presentation William G Reed Public Library, 710 W Alder St, Shelton WA 98584
Thursday, October 25, 2018
Time Event Location
11am Medicare 101 Mason County Senior Activities Center/The Pavillion, 190 W Sentry Drive, Shelton WA 98584
Tuesday, November 6, 2018
Time Event Location
12pm In Person SHIBA volunteer to help with Medicare Questions The HUB Belfair Sr Center, 111 NE Old Belfair Rd, Belfair WA 98528
Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Time Event Location
11am Medicare 101 Mason County Senior Activities Center/The Pavillion, 190 W Sentry Drive, Shelton WA 98584

“Navigating Medicare plan options can be overwhelming,” says Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler. “Our trained SHIBA volunteer advisors in your community can answer your Medicare questions and help you search for plans online that work best for your personal situation. I encourage people to take advantage of this free, unbiased service,” said Kreidler.

Before you make a final decision, consider these tips:

  • Plan costs and coverage can change every year, so review and keep all letters and notices your current plan sends you.
  • List all of the current prescription drugs you take, the doses, and how often.  Then, use Medicare’s Plan Finder (www.medicare.gov) to compare Part D plans.
  • Review the 2019 Medicare & You handbook. You should receive it by mid-October.
  • If you have questions, call SHIBA at 1-800-562-6900 before you sign up.
  • If you’re on a limited income and you need help paying for prescription drugs, you might qualify for the “Extra Help” program. To see if you qualify, SHIBA can tell you more about the program and help you apply.

SHIBA offers free, unbiased Medicare open enrollment workshops in local areas throughout the state.  To see if there’s an event in your area, visit SHIBA’s event calendar.

To schedule a one-on-one counseling appointment with a SHIBA volunteer, Monday through Friday:

  • Call our Insurance Consumer Hotline at 1-800-562-6900 and ask to speak with a SHIBA volunteer in your local area; or
  • Call a local SHIBA office.