CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Medicare open enrollment season is underway, prompting questions on who must enroll and what changes existing members should make.

More than 66-million Medicare beneficiaries will need to tweak coverage for the coming year, whether that be switching from an original Medicare plan to a privatized plan or shopping around different private plans for coverage that better fits your needs.

“Every year. I absolutely check it because you don’t know. Your plan might offer less, another plan might offer more,” said Jim Bloom of Chicopee. “Some of them now give you help with your dental, help with your eye glasses, help with your hearing. These are things that are important to me and should be important to every senior citizen.”

Open enrollment is the only opportunity for existing Medicare customers to change from an original Medicare plan to a privatized plan and the best time to review your prescription coverage or add optional Part D drug coverage to your Original plan.

There are a few things not subject to open enrollment, like adding Medigap coverage in Massachusetts. Also, if you aren’t yet a Medicare beneficiary and are turning 65 soon, or will soon lose your employer healthcare, you will be able to sign up and determine coverage when those qualifying events take place.

The best place to start is with your annual notice of change letter, which your insurer is required to send you in September to notify any coming changes to you plan. After that, visit to compare plans and make the changes you need.

Open enrollment runs from October 15th through December seventh every year.

Local News

Duncan MacLean is a reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since 2019. Follow Duncan on X @DMacLeanWWLP and view his bio to see more of his work.