By Doug Haaland, Humana Tennessee and Alabama Medicare President 

The annual Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan open enrollment period, Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, is the time when eligible individuals – including the nearly 1,380,678 people in Tennessee who are enrolled in Medicare – can access 2021 plan information. Here are some tips to safely select a plan without needing to leave home during this COVID-19 pandemic:

Look online: Go to to compare plans, benefits and get estimated costs. You can also enter prescription names to ensure those medications are covered. Insurance companies that offer Medicare Advantage plans can provide you with information about their services, prescription pricing, benefits and see if your providers are in-network on their website.

Sign up for virtual workshops: Many insurance companies are offering online workshops to review plan options. You can also set up one-on-one meetings with a licensed sales agent by phone or video chat. Be prepared with your questions to ensure you get the information you need.

Protect yourself against scams: Scammers may try to steal Medicare numbers or other personal data. Only give your Medicare number to your doctor, pharmacist, hospital, health insurer or other trusted health care provider.

Use available resources to ensure you safely select the best plan for your needs. For more information, go to or call 1-800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227). For information about Humana plans, visit or speak with a licensed sales agent by calling 1-800-213-5286 (TTY: 711) from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time, seven days a week.