Helping seniors navigate Medicare

By Jean Cherry, MBA, RN Aug 23, 2022 • 5 min

Managing medical care for your loved ones as they grow older can be a challenge. Understanding medical insurance is a vital part of ensuring they can get the best care possible. As a caregiver, you may be helping with the initial sign-up for Medicare or with annual enrollment. Walgreens wants to make the process easier with tools to help you accomplish the task.

Take one step at a time, and you can rest assured you have picked a plan that is right for your loved one.

Step 1: Know the timelines

The annual open enrollment each year to join, switch or drop a Medicare health plan and prescription drug coverage is from October 15 through December 7, for coverage starting on January 1 of the following year. If your loved one is enrolling for the first time, they can enroll the month they turn 65, or the three months before or after their birthday. There may be a penalty if you don’t follow this timeline. If your loved one is currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage health plan, the annual open enrollment period each year to switch or change to original Medicare is January 1 through March 31.

Step 2: Understand the types of Medicare coverage available

There are two options to choose from, original Medicare or Medicare Advantage. Original Medicare coverage includes Part A (hospital inpatient coverage) and Part B (outpatient medical coverage), with an option to join a separate Part D (prescription coverage) and/or a Medigap supplemental plan. Original Medicare does not cover some benefits like eye exams and most dental care. Medicare Advantage Plan, also known as Part C, is a bundled plan from a private company that includes Parts A, B and often D in one plan. Vision and dental may also be included in a Medicare Advantage Plan bundle. 

Step 3: Shop for Medicare plans from the government and/or private companies

Now it’s time to shop! Walgreens is here to help you find the right Medicare and Prescription Drug Plan for your loved one. Make sure the pharmacy is in the plan’s preferred network. Walgreens is a Preferred Pharmacy for many plans!

Walgreens offers ways to help you find a plan, either on your own or with help. You can review plans yourself with Walgreens Find Rx Coverage shopping tools, powered by eHealth, or you can speak in person with a licensed Medicare agent at select Walgreens pharmacies during the annual enrollment period. You may also review plan options at or speak with an eHealth licensed insurance agent and get free enrollment assistance with no obligation to enroll at 1-844-951-3092 (TTY users 711).

Step 4: How to enroll in a Medicare plan

You can enroll your loved one online, get help from a licensed insurance agent over the phone, or speak to a licensed Medicare agent in store at select Walgreens locations. Find an agent near you by entering your ZIP code at Walgreens Find Rx Coverage. If you help your loved one enroll in a plan with a preferred pharmacy network that includes Walgreens, they can save on the cost of their prescription copays at Walgreens. We offer low-cost copays on select Medicare plans. Plus, Walgreens provides easy ways to manage your loved one’s prescriptions, including automatic refills, pill reminders, easy prescription delivery options and pharmacy experts that are available 24/7.

Walgreens is here to help you get the best care for your loved one by helping you find the right Medicare plan for them!

Published August 2022.