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Medicare D event set in Jamestown

North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm noted that the open enrollment period for Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage began Tuesday and ends Dec. 7.

"Companies often make changes to the plans they offer, so I encourage Medicare beneficiaries to compare their Part D plans to be sure they're enrolled in the one that's best for them," Hamm said.

Jamestown area residents are invited to attend a free enrollment event from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 24 at the James River Senior Center at Legacy Center, 419 5th St. NE, Jamestown.

The Insurance Department's State Health Insurance Counseling Program staff is traveling to seven cities around the state during the open enrollment period, offering free assistance in switching or enrolling in a Medicare prescription drug plan. Those attending the event who have been given a yellow drug retrieval card are asked to bring it to the event for expedited service. Consumers also need to bring a list of their medications, including dosages and frequency.

Another open enrollment period --for the new federal Marketplace under health care reform -- began Oct. 1. The enrollment period for the Marketplace, formerly known as the Exchange, is unrelated to the Part D enrollment period.

"Medicare is not part of health care reform," Hamm said. "Beneficiaries don't need to take any action regarding the Marketplace."

Eligible North Dakotans who are unable to attend a Part D enrollment event have two other options:

* Call 211 by Nov. 22 from anywhere in North Dakota. Have medication information ready. The top three plan choices will be mailed to beneficiaries.

* Visit www.medicare.gov and enter information in the Plan Finder tool. On the homepage, click the yellow button labeled "find health and drug plans."

For details on the annual enrollment events, call SHIC at 1-888-575-6611 or visit www.nd.gov/ndins.

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