Government
4:48 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

The shutdown's impact on Medicare enrollment

The open enrollment period for Medicare began Tuesday but because of the partial government shutdown, signing up could be more challenging.  Even though Medicare.gov is online despite the shutdown, the website warns users that information posted may not be up to date.  Linda Tauber-Olson is with the Presence Covenant Center for Healthy Living in Champaign, and she’s helping people sign up for coverage.  But she advises them not to go to Medicare.gov to enroll, since updated information isn’t flowing from insurance companies to the website.

“You can contact the insurance company directly if you want to make sure the information is accurate, and they’re still help available. We’re still going to get people enrolled. It’s just going to be a little different, and I would encourage people not to use the Medicare.gov website to enroll at this time.”

Medicare's open enrollment period lasts until December 7, which Tauber-Olson says is plenty of time to sign up.  A health care advocacy group is reminding people that Medicare is separate from the Affordable Care Act, which focuses more on those with little or no insurance.