It’s that time of year when Missourians eligible for Medicare can review their coverage options and make changes. Medicare open enrollment is underway in Missouri through December 7.

Scott Miniea, the executive director of the State Health Insurance Assistance Program, called MO SHIP, said Missouri offers residents free help explaining the different Medicare Part D drug coverage or Medicare Advantage plans coverage options out there.

“Oftentimes it’s a pretty simple decision once you see all the options,” he said. “But a lot of a lot of the places where you would go for help don’t necessarily show you all of the options.

He advises residents eligible for Medicare and their caregivers to do an annual checkup on their Medicare plans.

“Every year the plans change,” Miniea said. “There are new plans offered by different companies, plans that are offered by companies that are out there now may change their drug formularies, change what medications you take, change whether someone’s in network versus out of network changes. It sort of makes sense if you can potentially save thousands of dollars a year by looking at your options.”

Last year, the average savings per MO SHIP consumer was $2,000.

“We do have a longer wait time generally during open enrollment,” he said. “But normally our wait time, we try to get to everybody in two or three days. But sometimes it’s as many as five because of our counselors that are all across the state and demand isn’t necessarily equal to the where the people are who are asking for help.”

To set up a meeting to get free and unbiased help, go to or call 1-800-390-3330.

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