FARGO — Valley Senior Services and the North Dakota Health Insurance Counseling program are offering help to senior citizens navigating Medicare and the often confusing prescription drug plans.

The Medicare enrollment program starts Oct. 15 and runs through Dec. 7. During this time, seniors can compare plans and decide on coverage for 2022.

VSS resource specialist volunteers can assist seniors in sessions via telephone or in-person during the enrollment period.

Appointments must be scheduled in advance and are on a first-come, first-served basis and safety guidelines are in place for in-person appointments. Seniors can call the main office at 701-293-1440 and ask to speak to an intake worker.

Staff can't recommend plans but will assist seniors in enrolling in the plan of their choice. Seniors are asked to have a list of their medications and their Medicare card handy.

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North Dakota has specific plans that are available that help with out-of-pocket expenses.

In-person sessions lasting 45 minutes are available at the Ed Clapp Park Senior Center, 2801 32nd Ave. S., and at Broadway Station, 1461 Broadway, in the afternoons from Oct. 26 through Dec. 3.

North Dakota's Insurance Department office can also help with Medicare and supplemental enrollment plans and year-round can help with Medicare bills and other questions. For more information and to book appointments, residents can go to insurance.nd.gov or call 701-328-2440.