Healthcare
5:15 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Shutdown: What To Know About Applying For Medicare

The open enrollment period for Medicare began this week, but because of the partial government shutdown, signing up could be a little more challenging.

Credit Medicare.gov

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,” Tauber-Olson said.

Medicare's open enrollment period lasts until Dec. 7, which Tauber-Olson says is plenty of time to sign up.

The health care advocacy group, Champaign County Health Care Consumers reminds people that Medicare is separate from the Affordable Care Act, which focuses more on those with little or no insurance.

Illinois Public Radio's Sean Powers contributed to this report.