Medicare enrollment is underway and we can help

October 16, 2014

Medicare form image

People with Medicare health coverage need to carefully read their mail this week for their annual "notice of change.” Medicare enrollment began on Wednesday, Oct.15.

What is changing?

In Multnomah County alone, eight private plans (either Medicare Prescription Drug plans or “Medicare Advantage” plans) will be leaving, five new plans will be available, and many will make changes in name, cost, and benefits. Plans are required to send to each enrollee, which should arrive after Oct. 1.  

The Multnomah County Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance Program will offer several options to help people understand the changes, and compare their current coverage with the Medicare plans available for 2015. Enrollment events are planned at local libraries to provide one-to-one counseling appointments for those who prefer it.

“Medicare coverage is very individual, and people approach it differently,” said Janet Bowman, program coordinator. “With many choices available, people can find plans that are affordable, meet their needs, and cover their healthcare providers. We are here to help them with the search.”


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 website, in the “What Medicare Covers Section” and your 2015 handbook mailed to households, and on the website.

Enrollment Events (appointments are required):

Monday, Oct. 20: Midland Library, 805 S.E. 122nd Ave., Portland

Friday, Oct. 24: Fairview Library, 1520 N.E. Village, Fairview

Monday, Oct. 27: Hollywood Library, 4040 N.E. Tillamook, Portland

Thursday, Oct. 30: St.Johns Library, 7510 N. Charleston, Portland

Wednesday, Nov. 5: Hillsdale Library, 1525 S.W. Sunset Blvd., Portland

Wednesday, Nov.12: Midland Library, 805 S.E. 122nd Ave., Portland

Friday, Nov. 21: Hollywood Library, 4040 N.E. Tillamook, Portland

Monday, Nov. 24: Hollywood Library, 4040 N.E. Tillamook, Portland

Tuesday, Dec. 2: Midland Library, 805 S.E. 122nd Ave., Portland

Friday, Dec. 5: Hollywood Library, 4040 N.E. Tillamook, Portland

Individual one-hour appointments with a trained, impartial county volunteer are available to compare plans.

Informational Medicare presentations 

Three Medicare presentation clarifying 2015 benefits options will also occur on Saturday, Oct. 18 and Saturday, Nov. 8.

Skilled Multnomah County volunteers will help the public find information to make informed choices about Medicare plans during the fall enrollment season, which takes place Oct. 15 through Dec. 7.

Saturday, Oct. 18, 10 a.m. to noon: Field officers from Oregon's Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance (SHIBA) program will hold a learning sessions at five Portland Community College campuses. Topics to be covered include: How to get Medicare, important deadlines, prescription coverage and Medicare for those who work past the age 65. SHIBA volunteers will stay after the presentation to answer individual questions. Call 503-947-7088 to register.

The  Portland Community College event is an interactive simulcast originating at the Sylvania Campus with a video/microphone link to four additional PCC campus sites.  Registration is limited to 25 attendees per campus.

  • Sylvania Campus - TCB 107 (Technical Classroom Building), 12000 S.W. 49th Ave., Portland
  • Cascade Campus - MAHB 216 (Moriarty Arts & Humanities Building), 705 N. Killingsworth St., Portland
  • Rock Creek Campus - Building 9 Room 201, 17705 N.W. Springville Rd., Portland
  • Southeast Campus - MTH 120 (Mt Tabor Hall), 2305 S.E. 82nd and Division, Portland
  • Newberg Campus - Room 111, 135 Werth Blvd, Newberg

Click here to download the flyer for the Oct. 18 PCC events.

Learn how to master the Medicare maze on Saturday, Nov. 8, 10:30 a.m. at Multnomah Arts Center, Room 8, 7688 S.W. Capitol Hwy. in Portland and Saturday, Nov. 8, 2:30 p.m. at Gresham Regional Library, 385 N.W. Miller in Gresham.

Want to research the new plans, but not sure how? Anne Lindsay from Multnomah County SHIBA will provide an update on changes to look for in 2015 Medicare Advantage and Part D plans, and demonstrate how to use the Medicare Plan Finder website.

These sessions are tailored to people who have a basic knowledge of both Medicare coverage and computer use. All presentations are free of charge and contain impartial information about coverage available.

To schedule an appointment and for more information, contact Multnomah County Aging and Disability Services Helpline at 503-988-3646.