Empowering Your Patients: Resources for Medicare Open Enrollment Available Now!

Sarah Hohman, Director of Government Affairs & Olivia Persinger, Intern


As Rural Health Clinic (RHC) providers, you play a vital role in ensuring that your patients are equipped to make well-informed decisions during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period.

This year’s Medicare Open Enrollment Period is October 15, 2023 through December 7, 2023, with coverage changes taking effect January 1, 2024. This is a critical time period for millions of Medicare beneficiaries in the United States. It presents an opportunity for patients to review and modify their healthcare coverage to better suit their evolving needs. Medicare patients can compare coverage options such as Traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage and choose health and drug plans for 2024. Due to the variability of Medicare Advantage and Part D plan costs and covered benefits from year to year, Medicare patients should consider their coverage choices and decide on the options best suited for their health needs.

We encourage RHCs to share the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) resources with their patients, allowing patients to compare all options during Open Enrollment.

  • Patients can visit Medicare.gov and learn the differences between Traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage with side-by-side comparisons of Medicare Advantage costs and coverage as well as prescription drug plans.
  • Patients can call 1-800-MEDICARE for 24/7 assistance from a Medicare representative.
  • Patients can access personalized health insurance counseling made available through the State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIP) at no cost. Additionally, many SHIPs offer virtual counseling. For more information, patients should visit shiphelp.org and/or call 1-800-MEDICARE for an individual SHIP’s phone number.
  • Patients can check eligibility for the Medicare Savings Programs and the Part D Low-Income Subsidy Program. If patients have a limited income and resources, they could qualify for Medicare Savings Programs or for the Patt D Low-Income Subsidy Program. For more information, patients should contact their state Medicaid program or call 1-800-MEDICARE to ask about the Medicare Savings Programs. To learn more about the Part D Low-Income Subsidy Program, visit: Medicare.gov/extrahelp or call 1-800-MEDICARE.

Other resources for patients include:

RHC providers are also encouraged to display Medicare Open Enrollment signage within their offices, including:

Supporting your patients during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period is not only beneficial to your patients, but also your RHC due to the high importance of your patients understanding their insurance coverage and options. By providing resources, guidance, and a caring touch, you empower your patients to make informed decisions about their healthcare coverage. This, in turn, fosters trust, enhances their overall healthcare experience, and solidifies your position as a trusted RHC provider.

Please contact Sarah.Hohman@narhc.org with any questions.