Medicare open enrollment period begins Thursday

Medicare open enrollment period begins Thursday
Medicare is a federal insurance program made for people ages 65 or older, or for those who are under 65 with certain disabilities or End Stage Renal Disease. (Source: Medicare)

JACKSON, Miss. (WDAM) - Open enrollment for Medicare began Thursday and will run through Dec. 7, 2020, for seniors to have the opportunity to update Medicare health or prescription coverage.

Medicare is a federal insurance program made for people ages 65 or older, or for those who are under 65 with certain disabilities or End Stage Renal Disease. It is made of four parts that are administered by the Centers of Medicaid & Medicaid Services.

During each open enrollment period, here are some things to consider:

  • If you are just aging into Medicare, make sure you have a part B.
  • Read all notices you get from Medicare about upcoming changes as they can be found in the annual Medicare Supplement Shoppers Guide issued by MID.
    • Yearly Medicare revisions can have changes, such as out of pocket limits and prescription costs.
  • Know about programs that can assist you in paying for Medicare. Information about the programs can be found here or the Division of Aging and Adult Services of the Mississippi Department of Human Services.

Even though the Mississippi Insurance Department does not regulate Advantage Plans, MID is able to answer questions about any concerns for the open enrollment period. Consumers can call 1-800-562-2967 with their questions.

Individuals who contact you about any type of private Medicare coverage:

  • Must be licensed by the state. Check with the Mississippi Insurance Department to make sure the salesperson is a licensed agent.
  • May not make unsolicited contact, such as door-to-door sales, cold calls or come to you in a parking lot.
  • Must make an appointment before visiting your home.
  • Must arrange in advance the type of products that will be talked about during a scheduled sales appointment. The salesperson may not try to sell you other types of insurance coverage at the appointment other than the type(s) agreed upon in advance.
  • May not try to sell you non-health care related products (like a life insurance policy or an annuity) during a sales or marketing presentation of a Medicare prescription drug or Medicare Advantage plan.
  • May not attempt to sell you a plan in certain health care settings, such as a doctor’s office or a pharmacy.
  • May not attempt to sell you a plan at an educational event.
  • May not offer free meals at promotional or sales events.
  • Do not give out personal information, such as Social Security numbers, bank account numbers to anyone you have not verified as a licensed agent. People are not allowed to request such personal information in their marketing activities and cannot ask for payment over the Internet. They must send you a bill. Once you decide to purchase a plan and have verified that the agent is licensed, you may give the agent personal information to assist in enrolling and billing.

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