Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Medicare Open Enrollment

Medicare Assistance in Chinese, Vietnamese & Korean

(U.S. ASIAN WIRE) 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, 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. If you need help in a language other than English or Spanish, say “Agent” at any time to talk to a customer service representative.
* 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:

o Look on the back of your Medicare & You 2011 handbook or;
o Call Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227; TTY, 1-877-486-2048)

* For assistance in Chinese, contact the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging at 1-800-582-4218.
* For assistance in Korean, contact the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging at 1-800-582-4259.
* For assistance in Vietnamese, contact the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging at 1-800-582-4336.

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

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