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Medicare and SHICK

    The K-State Research and Extension Southwind Extension District would like to let the public know that Medicare open enrollment for this year is from October 15th - December 7th. The Medicare Annual Enrollment period is a once a year opportunity to review your coverage for the upcoming year. Everyone qualifies for Medicare at the age of 65 and some may be eligible for Medicare prior to the age of 65 related to a qualifying disability, End Stage Renal Disease, or ALS. During the Annual Enrollment period you should carefully review the Annual Notice of Change you received in the mail.  Medicare plans make changes every year in premiums, deductibles, co-pays, and formularies. 
    The Southwind Extension District offers a program, Senior Health Insurance Counseling for Kansas (SHICK), geared towards those who are getting ready to go on Medicare or for those who are already on Medicare. SHICK can help shop and compare plans each year, you may be able to lower your co-pays and out-of-pocket costs for 2021 by switching to a different plan. You may need to change plans to find one that covers all your medications. SHICK Counselors provide free, unbiased, confidential assistance to shop and compare plans.
    For those under 65 years of age who do not qualify for Medicare or Medicaid, they can seek assistance for Marketplace Health Insurance plans. To find a local Marketplace Assister or Insurance Agent visit