Hawaii SHIP navigates Medicare Advantage plans for the people of Hawai‘i

Posted on Dec 19, 2019 in Ola Lokahi

If you or someone you know is 65 or older, there is free help with your Medicare Advantage Plans from the Hawaii State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP).

Annual Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment period is from Jan. 1 to March 31, 2020. At this time, Medicare Advantage Plan members can switch to another Medicare Advantage Plan or move back to Original Medicare Part A and B. Plan changes take effect the first of the following month. 

If you switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan back to Original Medicare (A & B), you have the option to enroll in a stand-alone prescription drug plan (Part D). Hawaii SHIP can help you shop for a stand-alone drug plan that is affordable and has the best coverage for your prescription drugs.

     Part A – Hospital Services

      Part C – Medicare Advantage Plan

     Part B – Outpatient Services

    *Part D – Prescription Drug Plan

*If you do not enroll in a drug plan when eligible, you may incur a lifetime late enrollment penalty later.

What is Hawaii SHIP?

The Hawaii State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) is federally funded and serves Medicare beneficiaries, their families, caregivers and soon-to-be retirees. Hawai‘i SHIP is administered by the Department of Health, Executive Office on Aging and is not affiliated with any insurance company. Hawaii SHIP trains and certifies volunteers to provide accurate and unbiased information, assistance, and referrals at no cost. Hawaii SHIP’s mission is to be recognized as a reliable source of Medicare and health plan related information in Hawai‘i. 

What are my next steps?

Seek some answers on the frequently asked questions page https://hawaiiship.org/faq or fill in your information to reach a counselor at https://hawaiiship.org/contact/.

The phone number for O‘ahu is 808-586-7299 and for neighbor islands, 1-888-875-9229.

Remember: Medicare Advantage plan changes can be made Jan. 1 – March 31, 2020. After this, Open Enrollment Period for Medicare changes begins Oct. 15, 2020.