Medicare Open Enrollment Period Now Through Dec. 7

Each year during the Open Enrollment Period, Medicare beneficiaries have the opportunity to compare and evaluate their current plans and make changes as necessary. By comparing plans during the Open Enrollment Period, Medicare beneficiaries can save money and make certain that their 2018 plan will be the best for their needs.

The Open Enrollment Period began on Oct.15 and runs for eight weeks to give you enough time to review and make changes to your Medicare coverage. All changes must be made by Dec. 7 to ensure that your coverage can begin without interruption on Jan.1.

“Comparing Part D plans annually is imperative to ensuring that the Medicare beneficiary has the best coverage for their prescription needs,” says North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey. “The staff from SHIIP, the Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program, are available to help over the phone or in-person in all 100 counties in North Carolina.”

SHIIP is a division of the North Carolina Department of Insurance and offers free, unbiased information about Medicare, Medicare prescription drug coverage, Medicare Advantage, long-term care insurance and other health insurance issues. In addition to helping Medicare beneficiaries compare and enroll in plans during the Open Enrollment Period, SHIIP counselors can help people find out if they are eligible for Medicare cost savings programs.


Here are some of the ways to review and compare plans available for 2018:

  • Get one-on-one help from your local SHIIP office by calling 1-855-408-1212 or visiting
  • Visit to compare your current coverage with all of the options that are available in your area, and enroll in a new plan if you decide to make a change.
  • Review the “Medicare & You” handbook. It was mailed to people with Medicare in September.
  • Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to find out more about your coverage options. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.