Open enrollment season runs October 15 through December 7
As Medicare’s open enrollment period begins, AARP is reminding its members and all older Americans to assess their current Medicare plan and select a plan that best fits their individual situation. People with Medicare have from October 15th until December 7th to add, drop or change prescription drug and health care plans for 2013. AARP encourages its members and everyone in Medicare to review their options for the coming year.
“Whether you choose Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan, open enrollment is when most people with Medicare have the opportunity to change plans,” said AARP Vice President Nicole Duritz. “Your health and medication needs can change from year to year and health plans may also change their benefits and costs. That’s why it’s important to evaluate your Medicare choices during open enrollment. A good first step is learning more about the available plans and how they can best meet your current and future health needs.”
People with Medicare can research the prescription drug and health plans available by using the Medicare Plan Finder at www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan. After reviewing available plans, AARP recommends considering the following when making decisions to change coverage:
- Costs, including the monthly premium, the annual deductible and cost-sharing;
- Coverage for the doctors and pharmacies included in the plan and the prescription drugs and other services you need; and,
- Quality Ratings, which are provided for most Medicare Advantage and Part D plans. These ratings are based on the quality of care and customer service each plan provides.
AARP offers a website dedicated to providing the latest information on open enrollment. Visit www.aarp.org/openenrollment to find easy-to-understand guidance on the choices available to people in Medicare during open enrollment and questions to consider when choosing a Medicare plan.
AARP has several additional resources to help people with Medicare:
- Doughnut Hole Calculator: If you are enrolled in a Medicare drug plan, this tool may help you lower your drug costs. You can learn how to reduce your drug costs in the prescription drug coverage gap or avoid it entirely, by finding lower cost medication options.
- A comprehensive guide to Medicare prescription drug coverage
- AARP has resources on open enrollment available in Spanish
“Whether you make a change or keep what you have, everyone in Medicare should use the open enrollment period to assess how their plan is meeting their health needs,” Duritz said. “AARP’s tools and resources can help people do the homework necessary to make an informed decision about the Medicare plan that’s the right fit for themselves or their loved ones.”
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