Dec. 7 was the end of the annual Medicare Open Enrollment. This seven and a half week opportunity to compare Medicare drug and/or health plans was a whirlwind of information, education and activity. I personally scheduled 25 days to compare plans for Medicare recipients either by myself or with Linda Bisanz of Tekamah at my side most days and Deb Hawkins of Craig also helping other days. In addition two other SHIIP volunteers from Omaha and Fremont also helped during the comparison sessions in Blair and Fremont. I haven’t had time to document all the individuals we helped, nor the savings we showed, but I’m sure it’s impressive and I’ll try to get that done in the near future. However, if you didn’t compare, make sure you put October 1 on your 2020 calendar to start calling your local Extension Office to make an appointment. I’ll have my schedule and calendars set up by then so you can make sure you get your prescriptions compared next year.

If your situation changes throughout the year, such as a spouse entering a nursing home or becoming eligible for extra help, please give me a call so we can make sure you have the best plan for you. These are called Special Enrollment Periods and changes can be made which may save you money.

New to Medicare Workshop:

If you or a family member is turning 65 in the next 6 months or if you are retiring from a job that has provided insurance, this Medicare workshop is for you! Every person’s situation is different and there are no concrete answers across the board, however there are decisions that have to be made or there could be penalties. Educating yourself about your options and learning about Original Medicare and its different parts and/or whether choosing Medicare Advantage is really an advantage for you is important, or whether you should wait on Medicare if you already have work insurance.

Absolutely nothing will be sold during or after this workshop. It is a free educational opportunity provided by the Nebraska Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) and Nebraska Extension. I (Mary Loftis) will present the program as I have for the past 13 years as a local SHIIP Counselor.

Anyone from any community is welcome to attend. We would like you to pre-register by calling the Nebraska Extension Office in Burt County at 402-374-2929 so enough materials are available.

The New to Medicare Workshop will be held Thursday, Jan. 30, 7 p.m., in Tekamah at the Burt County Courthouse meeting room on the first floor.

Individual questions are encouraged during or after the program so bring your list.

Share this information with anyone because everyone no matter where they live are welcome to attend. Hope to be hearing from you!

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