Prepare for Health Insurance Decision Making

Nora Rhoades Family and Youth Development Agent
Nora Rhoades
Family and Youth
Development Agent

The fall months are a popular time to make health insurance decisions. Many employers, the Health Insurance Marketplace, and some public programs, such as Medicare, utilize the fall as the one time each year you can change or renew insurance coverage.

Medicare open enrollment is October 15, 2016 through December 7. Medicare Open Enrollment is an annual opportunity for individuals with Medicare eligibility to make changes to Medicare Advantage or Medicare prescription drug coverage for the following year. You can get free, un-biased health insurance counseling from a SHICK (Senior Health Insurance Counseling for Kansas) Counselor. To identify a SHICK Counselor in your area, contact the Post Rock Extension District or the Kansas Agency on Aging office in your area.

Open enrollment through the Kansas Health Insurance Marketplace for next year’s coverage will begin November 1, 2016. December 15 is the last day to enroll or change an insurance plan through the Marketplace for coverage to start January 1, 2017. January 31 is the last day to enroll in or change a 2017 health plan. After this date, you can enroll or change plans only if you qualify for a special enrollment period. Cover Kansas Navigators are trained, un-biased volunteers who can assist you with making decisions in the Marketplace. To identify a Navigator in your area, call the Marketplace at 1-800-318-2596 or contact the Post Rock Extension District.

Contact your local Post Rock Extension District office or email Nora Rhoades at to access resources that can provide assistance as you work through the health insurance decision-making process.

By:  Nora Rhoades