If you didn’t see a SHIP Counselor during Open Enrollment (October 15th thru December 7th) you might not be aware of the the changes in your current health insurance plan, or you might have forgotten about those deductibles.

The good news is, you likely already have this information to keep you well informed!

You received material from your health insurance company last fall between mid-September and early October, called Annual Notice of Change. If you have not done so, fully read the section entitled Changes in your Health insurance.

Most frequent changes include: monthly premiums, yearly deductibles, preferred pharmacies, tiers of your medications, or one or more of your drugs may no longer be on your health insurance formulary.

Unfortunately, since Open Enrollment is over, it is possible that you may not be able to make changes to your plan, but there are ways in which a SHIP Counselor may be able to assist you:

  1. By informing you which pharmacy you should be going to according to your plan

  2. By sharing how much your medications would cost at different pharmacies

  3. To find pharmacy discount cards or manufacturers coupons

  4. By informing you if or when you will reach the donut hole, how long you will be there, and how much your medication will cost while there

It is important for you to advocate for yourself and be well informed.  If you find that you can longer afford a certain prescription, we encourage you to talk to your doctor about other options or if there is a possibility of receiving samples. We strongly urge you to NEVER abruptly stop taking any of your medications!

SHIP counseling is available at the Edward King House Senior Center every Wednesday from 11am-2pm.  SHIP is a free, unbiased service funded by the U. S. Administration on Community Living and sponsored in Rhode Island by the Division of Elderly Affairs.  No appointment is necessary. Please always remember to bring your Social Security Card, your current health insurance cards, and a list of your medications.

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