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Medicare Shopping Season Begins

Medicare open enrollment for 2024 begins Sunday, Oct. 15 this year.

Whether enrolled in Original Medicare only or already enrolled in a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement plan, Medicare recipients can take advantage of this period each year to switch to a new health plan or add to their Medicare insurance coverage for the following year.

If you’ve been thinking about making changes to your coverage for next year, here are some things you may want to consider:

1. Look at Your Total Annual Out-of-Pocket Costs

Monthly premiums are only part of the picture. Consider not only premiums but other costs such as copays, coinsurance, deductibles and annual limits on your total out-of-pocket spending.

2. Think About Coverage Beyond Original Medicare

Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans often include extra coverage and benefits for hearing, vision, chiropractic, fitness memberships and more. Additional benefits like these can help keep you healthier, improve your well-being and enhance overall quality of life. 

3. Check the Provider Network

Chances are you’ve established lasting relationships with your doctors over the years, and you’ll want those to continue. Make sure your favorite doctors, hospitals and other important providers are included in the plan’s network.

4. Don’t Forget About Prescription Drug Coverage

Original Medicare and Medicare Supplement plans do not include coverage for prescription drugs, so you may need to purchase a separate Part D prescription drug plan. Medicare Advantage plans, however, often include prescription drug coverage without a separate premium.

See What Samaritan’s Medicare Advantage Plans Have to Offer

Samaritan is the only locally managed Medicare insurance provider serving Benton, Lincoln and Linn counties. We have offered affordable, benefit-rich plans to our communities since 2005.

All of our Advantage plans feature low copays for doctor and specialist visits, $0 medical deductible and a medical out-of-pocket maximum which limits your financial responsibility each year when it comes to hospital and medical-related services. All plans include:

  • Unlimited rides to and from grocery stores, doctor visits, pharmacies, fitness centers and more.
  • Preventive and comprehensive dental coverage.
  • Quarterly allowance for over-the-counter (OTC) health-related items.
  • Fitness benefits.
  • No cost personal emergency response system.
  • Hearing aid allowance.
  • Supplemental chiropractic and acupuncture visits.
  • Routine eye exams and eyewear.
  • Worldwide emergency care.

Applications for 2024 must be received by the health plan by Thursday, Dec. 7.

Samaritan Health Plans offers Medicare Advantage plans to residents of Benton, Lincoln and Linn counties. Local Medicare experts are available to answer your questions.
Call 800-832-4580 or visit