In 2013, the Auburn University Harrison School of Pharmacy (AU) and Alabama State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) partnered to form the AU-SHIP Medicare Outreach Program. Every year from October 15th to December 7th, student pharmacists and SHIP counselors come together to help members of the Auburn-Opelika and surrounding communities select the best Medicare Advantage or Part D plan for their needs.
Medicare is an insurance program that helps people over 65 and some people with disabilities or severe illnesses to pay for hospital stays (Medicare Part A), doctor visits (Medicare Part B), and prescription medications (Medicare Part D). However, many people struggle to enroll and understand their coverage. Medicare is so complex, with over 1,000 prescription drug plans (PDPs) offered in 2015. Not only that, but pharmacy access, formulary restrictions, and co-pay and premium costs may change from year to year, making reevaluation of your plan every year a necessity. Many Medicare enrollees don’t know that they should reevaluate their plan every year, leading to them paying higher out-of-pocket costs than necessary.
Our mission is to help people select the Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage Plan that best fits their needs. At scheduled events between October 15th and December 7th, trained student pharmacists from Auburn University and certified counselors from the Alabama State Health Insurance Assistance Program use the online Medicare.gov Plan Finder Tool to help people reevaluate their current plan, find a plan with better benefits or lower cost, or enroll in a new plan. Our help is unbiased, and open to all Medicare-eligible individuals.
"Many Medicare enrollees don’t know that they should reevaluate their plan every year, leading to them paying higher out-of-pocket costs than necessary."