2019 Medicare Open Enrollment Period: October 15 - December 7, 2018

Beginning October 15 and running through December 7, the Medicare Open Enrollment period allows Medicare-eligible patients the option of changing their coverage for 2019. Open Enrollment is the time to review your options and to decide if you want to keep your current plan or change to a Medicare Advantage Plan, or other health plans. If you were eligible for but not enrolled in Medicare Part B last year, you can sign up for coverage with Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Plan. Open Enrollment is also the time to sign up for or change your Medicare prescription drug plan, if you need to.

The 2019 Medicare & You Handbooks will be mailed in October to people with Medicare who have not opted to receive their handbooks electronically. If you have chosen to receive your handbook electronically or would like to review the 2019 handbook now, you can access it online. It's important that you read this guide as you are making your decision. To search for and compare plans that are available in your area, use the online Medicare Plan Finder

While the 2019 Part B premium and deductible amounts have not yet been published, here is how the costs of original Part B Medicare (which includes Railroad Medicare) are applied: 

  • You pay a Part B premium each month (most people will pay a standard amount)
  • You may pay more if your adjusted gross income on your income tax return from two years ago is above a certain level
  • You pay a yearly deductible (the deductible does not apply to most preventive and screening services)
  • For most services, you pay a coinsurance amount (typically 20 percent of the Medicare-approved amount) 

If you need help determining the best plan for you, we encourage you to contact your State Health Insurance Program, also called 'SHIP'. SHIP is available in all 50 states and US territories. It may be called something slightly different in your state (California's SHIP is called the 'California Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program' - HICAP). However, the programs function the same way. You can find the contact information for the SHIP in your state by visiting our website at www.PalmettoGBA.com/RR/Me/SHIP.  

If you have questions about SHIP, you can call our toll-free Beneficiary Customer Service Line at 800-833-4455, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET. For the hearing impaired, call TTY/TDD at 877-566-3572. This line is for the hearing impaired with the appropriate dial-up service and is available during the same hours Customer Service Representatives are available.
 
We encourage you to visit our Facebook page at
www.facebook.com/myrrmedicare. We also invite you to join our listserv/email updates. Just select the 'Listservs' link at the top of our main webpage at www.PalmettoGBA.com/RR/Me.

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TTY 877-566-3572

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800-833-4455

Railroad beneficiary info:

Gayle Patterson (706) 855-3198

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