Open enrollment is now underway for Medicare for thousands of Iowans and others across the country.
The administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Seema Verma says it’s time to review your plan.
“They can stick with the traditional program if they like what they have, they don’t have to make any changes,” Verma says. “But what’s really interesting about this year is that over the last few years, the president has been really working to strengthen and modernize the program, and because of that, we are seeing significant price decreases.”
She says one of the new programs is for insulin. She says if you are taking insulin you can get it for $35 a month. “So a lot of new choices, a lot of new plans.” Verma says there are some other options for services in the plans as well.
“Maybe you just need a ride to the doctor’s office, or you are recovering from surgery and you need a little bit of help in your house and they can send you a meal service. Or you are having trouble going up and down the stairs — they may install a ramp,” she says. “It’s just giving a little bit more flexibility to the health plan.”
Verma says you can do everything online. She says it will let you enter the medications you take into the system and it will tell you if the plan covers those medications. Verma says you can still call the helpline if you have questions and want to talk to someone.
The helpline is 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). You can go to medicare.gov to review your plan. There are more than 637,000 Iowans on Medicare.