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Medicare Oopen enrollment period now open
By Staff reports

October 17. 2013 9:35AM
The open enrollment period for Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plans is Oct. 15-Dec. 7.

“If you or someone you care about has Medicare, make sure you mark your calendars, as Medicare Open Enrollment starts on Oct. 15 and ends on Dec. 7,” said Kim Malsam-Rysdon, Secretary for the South Dakota Department of Social Services. “Medicare recipients should use this opportunity to review their current choices and compare them to coverage that is available for next year to make sure they have a plan that is right for them.”

Medicare Advantage is a health plan offered by a private company that contracts with Medicare to provide Part A and Part B coverage (hospital, skilled nursing, home health, hospice, doctors’ care and other outpatient services).

Medicare Part D offers prescription drug coverage for all people with Medicare; the drug coverage includes both brand name and generic drugs.

Beginning Oct. 15, trained volunteers from the South Dakota Senior Health Information and Insurance Education Program (SHIINE) will offer free assistance to seniors seeking additional Medicare information.

SHIINE volunteers can help seniors compare plans, evaluate their current coverage and fill out paperwork. Seniors taking advantage of the free one-on-one counseling should bring their Medicare card and a current list of medications. The volunteers will use the information to sort through the Medicare Plan Finder and compare coverage options. The Plan Finder can also be accessed from home at

For more information on SHIINE or to meet with a volunteer in your community, call 1-800-536-8197 or contact your Regional Coordinator:

• Eastern South Dakota: Tom Hoy at 605-333-3314 or
• Central South Dakota: Kathleen Nagle at 605-224-3212 or
• Western South Dakota: Debbie Stangle at 605-342-8635 or

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