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Medicare open enrollment starts

Need help signing up and comparing Medicare plans? Multnomah County offers enrollment aid and other info


People with Medicare will have a wide variety of plans to consider during Medicare’s annual enrollment period Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, all Medicare beneficiaries have the option to change their Medicare plans for the coming year to better match their needs.

Affordable Care Act (Cover Oregon) plans are not designed to supplement Medicare coverage — make sure you are reviewing Medicare plans when you sit down to compare. Plans that do work with Medicare are listed on the www.medicare.gov website; in the “Medicare and You 2014” handbook mailed to households; and on the SHIBA (Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance) website at www.oregonshiba.org.

The Multnomah County SHIBA program will offer several options to help people with Medicare compare their current coverage with the Medicare plans available for 2014.

Enrollment events are planned at local libraries to provide one-to-one counseling appointments for those who prefer it. Separate “Plan Finder Boot Camp” presentations will focus on the Medicare online plan finder and other tools for individuals to use on their own.

“Medicare coverage is very individual, and people approach it differently,” said Janet Bowman, SHIBA coordinator. “Many people would rather do their research themselves, but don’t know how to use the online tools to make it easy. Our Plan Finder Boot Camp is for them, and for those helping someone with Medicare.”

Enrollment events

Appointments are required for individual one-hour appointments with a trained, impartial SHIBA volunteer to compare plans. Call 503 988-3646 beginning Oct. 2 to schedule an appointment.

The following enrollment events are scheduled in Portland:

  • Wednesday, Oct. 16, Hollywood Library, 4040 N.E. Tillamook St.

  • Thursday, Oct. 24, St. Johns Library, 7510 N. Charleston St.

  • Tues.Oct. 29, Hollywood Library, 4040 N.E. Tillamook St.

  • Wednesday, Nov. 6, Midland Library, 805 S.E. 122nd Ave.

  • Wednesday, Nov. 13, Midland Library, 805 S.E. 122nd Ave.

  • Wednesday, Nov. 20, Hollywood Library, 4040 N.E. Tillamook St.

  • Monday, Nov. 25, Hillsdale Library, 1525 S.W. Sunset Blvd.

  • Monday, Dec. 2, Midland Library, 805 S.E. 122nd Ave.

    Plan Finder Boot Camp

    The following 90-minute community presentations include a brief Medicare overview, tips on comparing plans, tutorial on using the Medicare.gov Plan Finder, questions and answers. No individual counseling is provided.

  • Friday, Oct. 18, 10 a.m., Bridge Meadows Community Room, 8502 N. Wayland Ave., Portland.

  • Thursday, Nov. 7, 9 a.m., Southeast Multicultural Senior Center, 4610 S.E. Belmont St., Lower Conference Room, Portland.

  • Friday, Nov. 8, 1:30 p.m., Gresham Regional Library, 385 N.W. Miller Ave., Gresham.

  • Friday, Nov. 15, 9 a.m., Neighborhood House Senior Center, 7688 S.W.Capitol Highway, Portland.

  • Monday, Nov. 18, 9 a.m., Hollywood Senior Center, 1820 N.E. 40th Ave., Portland.

    For more information, call the Multnomah County Aging and Disability Services Helpline at 503-988-3646.