Pratt volunteers ready to help with insurance questions and changes.

Medicare 2020 Open Enrollment begins October 15 and continues through December 7 and Pratt has two Senior Health Insurance Councilor of Kansas (SCHICK) to assist area residents -- Lisa Hart with Pratt Regional Medical Center and Jeanette Gaider with Senior Services (RSVP).
“If you are 65 years or older; or on Medicare Disability, now is the time to review your part D, prescription drug plan,” Hart said. “Based on current client numbers, the average person is saving about $500 a year by switching plans.”
“A SHICK councilor is not an agent, broker, nor do we receive a commission,” Hart said. “Our services are free and open to the public. We are trained by the state of Kansas to be unbiased and knowledgeable about Medicare drug plans in our area.”
Medicare Part D plans are only available through private insurance companies and the cost, pharmacy network, and drug formulary can vary from plan to plan, and year to year, according to Hart.
“As SHICK councilors, we compare your current medications among 26 different standalone Part D policies to help you find an affordable option that meets your needs,” Hart said.
Hart said the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) launched a new version of the Medicare Plan Finder tool on Medicare.gov earlier this week which allows users to search for and compare Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage (MA) plans.
“The changes include an improved mobile-friendly design, as 25% of beneficiaries accessed the plan finder via mobile devices in 2018 and that number is growing quickly.” Hart said.
“The new plan finder will also inform users if a generic version of their prescription drug is available, which is likely an effort to address the high out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs,” Hart said.
Beneficiaries and their caregivers can use the new tool to enroll in Medicare Advantage and Part D plans, as well as view and compare the supplemental benefits of Medicare Advantage plans, according to Hart.
Information needed to complete the review is  Social Security number, Medicare Card, detailed list of prescriptions and current Medicare Part D insurance card.
Hart said she is available to see clients at the Hope Center, 314 South Main Street, Pratt, by appointment only October 15 through December 7, phone 620-933-2165.
Gaider will be counseling at Pratt Senior Citizens Center, 619 North Main Street, on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., also by appointment only, phone 620-672-7811.