Medicare Make-Over Time

Personal Column or News Release

Mary Loftis

UNL Extension Assistant and SHIIP Volunteer

October 28, 2013


Mary Loftis.

Mary Loftis.

“Medicare Make-Over” Time for Prescription Drug Plans


          Have you ever had the pleasure of experiencing a “make-over” where they take the “old” you and change your hair, makeup and wardrobe to create a “new” you? I haven’t either, but it sounds like fun. However, with help of other Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) trained volunteers we have assisted with nearly a hundred ”Medicare Make-Overs” since October 15 in Burt, Dodge and Washington Counties.

What is a “Medicare Make-Over”? It is when you take the time to compare your current Medicare Prescription Drug or Health Plan with the 29 drug plans available in Nebraska for 2014 to see if making a change to a new plan will save you money. If you are on a Medicare Advantage Health Plan these plans can vary from year to year and from county to county, so you also need to check for your best coverage.

These SHIIP sponsored Medicare Open Enrollment Comparison Sessions give you all the options. We do not get paid by any drug company and are only looking out for your best interests.

The Medicare Prescription Drug and Health Plans themselves do a “Make-Over” every year as they change their premium costs, deductible amounts and drug prices. They also make deals with pharmacies creating “preferred pharmacies” which can sell you prescriptions at a lower cost. New plans are added each year and there are some very popular 2013 plans currently sanctioned by Medicare, which means they may retain their current members but cannot appear on the Medicare Plan Finder and may not enroll new members for 2014.

This last “Make-Over” for the Medicare drug plans has created some very critical changes, especially if you are diabetic. A very popular plan in 2013 has altered its coverage of diabetic prescriptions for 2014 which would cost you additional thousands of dollars at the drug store if you don’t compare and change drug plans.

The “Medicare Make-Over” results have ranged from stunningly impressive to calmly confident. Not everyone saves hundreds or thousands of dollars, but just knowing you have the least expensive plan to meet your needs for the next year is reassuring.

If you take no prescriptions and were enrolled in the lowest premium plan this year you will save $171 by changing plans to the newest low premium plan. The 2013 plan increased its premium from $15/month to $26.90/month and the new low premium plan is only $12.60/month.

You just don’t know if you don’t compare. You may compare yourself by going to the Medicare website at: www.medicare.govand clicking on “Compare Health & Drug Plans”. If you’d like help comparing plans there are still opportunities available.

Take a little time to get your annual “Medicare Make-Over”. You’ll be glad you did!

In Burt County call UNL Extension in Burt County at 402-374-2929 for an appointment:

October 30 – Wednesday – Lyons Public Library, 305 Main St., 9:00-Noon

October 30 – Wednesday – Tekamah-Herman School Computer Club, Rm. #106, 112 N. 13th St., 3:30-5:00 p.m.

October 31 – Thursday – Oakland Library, 104 East 3rd St., 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

November 1 – Friday – Craig Fire Hall – South Main Street 12:30-4:30 p.m.

November 6 – Wednesday –Lyons – Lyons Public Library, 305 Main St., 9:00 a.m.-Noon.

November 6 – Wednesday – Decatur – Sears Senior Center, 8th and Broadway, 1:00-5:00 p.m.

November 21 – Thursday – Tekamah – Chatt Senior Center, 1124 South 13th St., 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.


In Dodge County Call UNL Extension in Dodge County at 402-727-2775 for an appointment:


November 7 – Thursday – Fremont – Dodge County Extension Office, 1206 W. 23rd St. 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

November 8 – Friday – Fremont – Dodge County Extension Office, 1206 W. 23rd Street, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.


In Washington County Call UNL Extension in Washington County at 402-426-9455 for an appointment:

November 22 – Friday – Blair – Washington County Extension Office, 597 Grant St. 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.



Mary Loftis,

Extension Assistant
UNL Extension – Burt County
111 North 13th Street, Suite 6
Tekamah, NE 68061
Phone: (402) 374-2929

Fax: (402) 374-2930


About katcountryhub
I am a graduate of Northeast Community College with a degree in journalism. I am married to Jeff Gilliland. We have two grown children, Justin and Whitney and four grandchildren, Grayce, Grayhm, Charli and Penelope. I will be covering Lyons, Decatur, Bancroft and Rosalie and am hoping to expand my horizons as time progresses!

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