Oregon Dept. of Consumer & Business Services
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News Release
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Medicare Advantage open enrollment available until March 31 (Photo) - 01/14/21

(Salem) – Jan. 1 marked the beginning of the 2021 Medicare Advantage open enrollment period for Medicare beneficiaries with an existing Medicare Advantage plan. Beneficiaries who take advantage of this open enrollment period will have coverage that starts the first day of the month after the enrollment action.

Before March 31, beneficiaries who already have a Medicare Advantage plan can:

  • Change to a different Medicare Advantage plan, either with or without drug coverage.
  • Enroll in a stand-alone Part D (prescription drug) plan, which returns the beneficiary to Original Medicare.

“This is a helpful time period for beneficiaries that are not satisfied with the new Medicare Advantage plan they chose for 2021 or for beneficiaries currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, but who missed the annual Dec. 7 deadline to compare and change plans,” said Lisa Emerson, program analyst for the Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance (SHIBA) program.

Beneficiaries can make only one change during this enrollment period and cannot change from one stand-alone Part D prescription drug plan to another stand-alone Part D prescription drug plan.

Other enrollment opportunities if someone missed the Dec. 7 deadline:

  • Oregonians have one five-star plan through Kaiser Permanente that will accept enrollments at any time throughout the year.
  • Anyone affected by COVID-19 or Oregon’s wildfires may still have time to enroll in a plan under a four-month special enrollment period, which begins the date affected. There are other guidelines to qualify.
  • Anyone affected by nonrenewing plans (e.g., Moda Med-Advantage) still has time to choose a plan.

Oregon’s SHIBA program is available to help beneficiaries understand their options. To find free, local Medicare counseling help, go to dcbspage.org/SHIBALOCAL or call 800-722-4134 (toll-free) to speak to a state-certified Medicare counselor.

SHIBA counselors can help Oregonians navigate the Medicare.gov Plan Finder tool to enter prescriptions and compare the cost and benefits of individual drug plans, provide enrollment guidance, and answer any other questions related to Medicare benefits. All of these services are available remotely statewide to ensure the safety of both clients and counselors.

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Oregon’s Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance (SHIBA) program is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS), Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit dcbs.oregon.gov. Follow DCBS on Twitter: twitter.com/OregonDCBS. Receive consumer help and information on insurance, mortgages, investments, workplace safety, and more.

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