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Medicare Open Enrollment: It’s Time to Review Your Plan

(NewsUSA) – Every year, there are new prescription drug and health plan coverage choices available to people with Medicare. Open Enrollment is the time of year when current or newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries, including people with original Medicare, can review their current health or prescription drug plans, compare the plans to other options and choose the plans that best meet their current needs.

There’s never been a better time to check out Medicare coverage. With the new health care law, there are new benefits available to people with Medicare, including lower prescription costs, wellness checkups and preventive care. The new law also provides better ways to protect beneficiaries from fraud, making Medicare stronger for all of us and for future generations.

Take advantage of Open Enrollment — November 15th through December 31st — and be sure to compare current plans with new plan offerings, as well as learn about the new benefits that are available. People with Medicare may find a way to save money, get better coverage, or both.

Medicare has several ways to ensure people get the information to help in deciding what kind of coverage works best, including:

* Visit www.medicare.gov, where you can get a personalized comparison of the costs and coverage of the plans available in your area.

* Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) 24-hours a day/7 days a week to find out more about your coverage options. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.

* Review the 2011 Medicare & You handbook. It is mailed to beneficiaries in October.

* Get one-on-one help from your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). Local SHIP contact information can be found online at www.medicare.gov/contacts/organization-search-criteria.aspx and on the back of your Medicare & You 2011 handbook. You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227; TTY, 1-877-486-2048).

Medicare has a program to help pay for prescription drugs for those with a limited income. To find out if you qualify, visit www.socialsecurity.gov or call 1-800-772-1213 and ask about the “Extra Help” program. More information is available at www.healthcare.gov, a new online portal made available from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

This message is brought to you by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

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