(U.S. ASIAN WIRE) Medicare Open Enrollment Begins

Now is the Time to Review Plans

(U.S. ASIAN WIRE) — You may know that new Medicare prescription drug and health plan choices are offered each year. Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period runs from November 15 to December 31. Open Enrollment is your chance to review your current plan – including your Original Medicare coverage – compare it with your other options, and make sure you’re getting the best available coverage for your health care needs. Your current health plan may have changed its cost or coverage for 2010, or maybe you’d like a plan with a lower deductible.

If you’ve had any changes in your health, it’s particularly important for you to double-check your coverage during Open Enrollment, so you can make sure that any new treatments or drugs are covered by your plan.

Since coverage varies by plan, know what’s important for you. For example, make a list of the drugs you take so you can make sure they’re covered by the plans you’re considering. If you are in Original Medicare and don’t have prescription drug coverage, you can join a Medicare drug plan during Open Enrollment.

Medicare has several ways to get you the help you need to find a plan that works for you.

• Visit the 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) to find out more about your coverage options. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048. Medicare customer service representatives are available 24-hours a day/7 days a week with multiple language options and resources for people with disabilities.

• Watch your mailbox for the 2010 Medicare & You handbook. The handbook is mailed to all Medicare households each fall and includes a listing of all plans in your area. This handbook is also conveniently available online at www.medicare.gov

• Meet one-on-one with a trained expert for personalized assistance. Call 1-800-MEDICARE or visit www.medicare.gov to find a Medicare specialist in your area. Select “Find Helpful Phone Numbers and Websites.”

Important Medicare Enrollment Dates:

Nov. 15: Open Enrollment begins. If you want to join or switch your plan, do it as soon as possible to avoid any problems at the pharmacy in January.

Dec. 31: Open Enrollment ends. Last day to join or change your Medicare drug plan.

Jan. 1: Your new plan coverage begins.

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

Did You Know?
If you’re worried about the costs of your Part D (prescription drug) coverage, you may qualify for Extra Help. Medicare has a program where, if eligible, you pay no more than $2.50 for each generic drug and no more than $6.30 for each name brand drug. If you are eligible for extra help, the program also helps pay your premiums and other out-of-pocket costs. Call 1-800-772-1213 or visit www.socialsecurity.gov to find out more about Extra Help.