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The Columbia Press

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Medicare annual enrollment runs through Dec. 7

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Annual open enrollment for Medicare is under way and Oregon’s Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance Program is available to help.

Medicare is health insurance for people 65 and older or younger than 65 with Social Security Disability Income.

People living in Oregon who are 65 and older may be eligible to sign up and find health insurance that best meets their needs. Medicare covers many medical costs, including visits to the doctor, prescription medications, and preventive care such as mammograms, colonoscopies, diabetes treatment, and blood-pressure screenings.

The annual enrollment began Oct. 15 and continues through Dec. 7. Any Medicare Advantage or prescription drug plan changes must be made between these dates so that coverage begins without interruption on Jan. 1. Those who are late to enroll may face a lifetime of premium penalties.

“It is important to compare Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans every year,” assistance program Manager Lisa Emerson said. “Plans change year to year, as do people’s individual health care needs. People could potentially save money by shopping for a new plan.”

Free information and help is available by calling 800-722-4134 or visiting

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