medicare drug planInsurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin and the staff of SHIIP, the Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program, are reminding Medicare beneficiaries of a very important deadline for their Medicare Drug Plan.

The Annual Election Period to review, compare and choose Medicare prescription drug coverage ends Dec. 7, 2014. Medicare beneficiaries are encouraged to call SHIIP at 1-855-408-1212 or 1-800-MEDICARE for free and unbiased help in choosing a drug plan.

There are 28 Part D prescription drug plans available in North Carolina for 2015. Drug plans vary from year to year, so it is important that Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers explore their options during each Annual Election Period. Many Medicare beneficiaries who have called the SHIIP office will save several hundred to several thousand dollars in the coming year because they are changing their prescription drug plan.

It’s worth it to take the time to review and compare, but you don’t have to do it alone. Remember that representatives from Medicare and SHIIP are available to help you choose a Medicare drug plan:

  • Visit to compare your current coverage with all of the options that are available in your area and enroll in a new plan if you decide to make a change.
  • Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) 24-hours a day, seven days a week, to find out more about your coverage options. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.
  • Review the Medicare & You 2015 handbook. It was mailed to Medicare beneficiaries in September.
  • Get one-on-one help from SHIIP, the Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program, by calling 1-855-408-1212, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.