Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period (OEP) occurs every Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. Beneficiaries may enroll in, switch to or disenroll from Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage (MA) or Part D prescription (PDP) drug coverage. Changes made during OEP take effect on Jan. 1 of the following year.

Health insurance companies promote their plans during OEP, making the decision to stay with or change plans overwhelming.  Fortunately, resources are available. “Medicare & You” handbooks contain costs and benefits offered by MA and PDP plans in Hawai‘i. has created the Medicare Plan Finder, a tool assisting beneficiaries in making informed choices by comparing health and drug plans.

Administered by the Department of Health’s Executive Office on Aging, Hawaii SHIP is a federal, volunteer-based program serving beneficiaries, their families, caregivers and soon-to-be retirees. Certified counselors provide information and plan comparisons, helping beneficiaries decide which coverage is right for them. The service is free, confidential and unbiased.

For more information about program services or volunteering, call Hawaii SHIP.

Free, local, one-on-one Medicare counseling provided by the Hawai‘i State Health Insurance Assistance Program.
250 South Hotel St., Ste. 406, Honolulu, HI 96813
Oahu: 808-586-7299 | Toll free: 888-875-9229