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Medicare Open Enrollment for 2019 Begins Oct. 15

Medicare Open Enrollment for 2019 coverage begins Monday, Oct. 15 and runs through Dec. 7, 2018.  The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period is when seniors can choose to enroll or switch to a new Medicare plan for 2019, including a Medicare Advantage plan or Medicare Part D prescription drug plan.  

For Minnesota in 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has reported: 

  • 74 Medicare Advantage plans are available. 100 percent of people with Medicare have access to a Medicare Advantage plan.
  • 99 percent of people with a Medicare Advantage plan have access to a plan with a lower premium than what they paid in 2018. $0 is the lowest monthly premium for a Medicare Advantage plan.
  • 28 stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plans are available. 100 percent of people with a stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan have access to a plan with a lower premium than what they paid in 2018. $15.00 is the lowest monthly premium for a stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan. 

Seniors often have questions about health plan choices during open enrollment, and the number of questions may be higher than normal this year because a specific type of Medicare plan – the “Cost Plan” – will no longer be available in most Minnesota counties beginning in 2019. For more information about the phase out of Cost Plans, visit the Minnesota Department of Commerce website

If you receive questions from residents, clients or family members, here are a few resources you could share with them:

Detailed Medicare plan offerings for 2019 are now available on the Medicare Plan Finder website, including information on cost, coverage and other benefits.

In addition, the Minnesota Board on Aging is working to complete the 2019 edition of Health Care Choices for Minnesotans that will provide information on all Minnesota Medicare options for 2019. We don’t yet know the official date when the Board on Aging will release its publication, but it is typically available by the time open enrollment begins. 

Meanwhile, Senior LinkAge Line staff are available to help answer questions and explore plan options.

We will continue to provide information to members about open enrollment, the cost-plan transition and related issues that may impact you and the people you serve during 2019.

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