Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Oct 15, 2021, 11:31 AM | Updated: Nov 10, 2021, 2:05 pm

SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can:

  • Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa.
  • Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, if you’re on original Medicare.
  • Switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan.

The Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) program — part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner — is ready to help with all of these decisions. Due to the pandemic, your local SHIBA advisors will still provide one-on-one counseling appointments over the phone or through online video. However, some locations may also offer face-to-face counseling with extra precautions.

SHIBA provides free, unbiased and confidential help with Medicare and other health care options to people of all ages and backgrounds across our state.

“Our SHIBA volunteer advisors and staff provide consumers a really valuable service,” said Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler. “Our volunteer advisors can help you compare plans for 2022 and other information to help you make an informed decision about what Medicare plans work best for your personal situation. They can even see if you qualify and help you apply for any programs to save you money on Medicare costs.”

Medicare is not a one-size-fits-all program. Each person’s needs, situation and benefits are different — and that includes spouses who may have their own unique Medicare plan. So before you make a final decision, consider these tips:

  • Plan costs and coverage can change every year, so review and keep all letters and notices your current plan sends you.
  • List all of the current prescription drugs you take, the doses and how often. Then, use the Plan Finder at www.medicare.gov to compare Part D plans.
  • Review the 2022 Medicare & You handbook. You should receive it in the mail by mid-October.
  • If you have questions, call SHIBA at 1-800-562-6900 before you sign up.
  • Find an online SHIBA webinar at www.insurance.wa.gov/shiba.

To schedule your counseling appointment with a SHIBA volunteer, Monday through Friday:

Watch our Medicare videos on YouTube:


safety from crime...
No Author

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
30 days ago
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
2 months ago
No Author

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
4 months ago
Lake Washington Windows...
No Author

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
4 months ago
Anacortes Christmas Tree...
No Author

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
5 months ago
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...
No Author

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
5 months ago
Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!