Seniors Choose Your Medicare Part D Plan Now

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Medicare Part Di
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Shifting through changes in Medicare Part D can be daunting, but next year's Medicare insurance choices should be easy. It's best for seniors to choose their plan now, before enrollment ends on December 31. Medicare Part D enrollment started November 15.

If you're happy with your prescription drug coverage, no extra steps are necessary. There have been changes to Medicare part D, and it's important to explore whether or not your plan can provide needed coverage for your prescriptions. Many prescriptions are more expensive, making it especially important to investigate your options. Seniors with chronic diseases need to be especially alert to changes.

You can search for prescription plans, and ratings online. You should have a handbook, mailed in October that shows how well each plan performs in terms of customer service and drug pricing. You'll need to tally up out of pocket expenses to make a decision about which Medicare part D plan is best for you in 2009. You may also want to take the information to your doctor to explore alternative medicines that can save money without compromising medical treatment. Many drugs can be substituted, providing the same therapeutic effect.

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Most communities will or have set up help centers to help seniors get through next year's enrollment for Medicare part D. Check your local newspaper. Expect to pay an average of $23/per month for full coverage. Many seniors may actually pay less for prescription drug coverage. Medicare hopes enrollment will be a positive experience, and they've seemed to work hard toward that end. They have made many low cost plans available for next year. The changes mean you really should take a good look at your options.

You can visit your local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) office if you prefer personalized help. Look for additional assistance from community agencies. The whereabouts should be available from your local news media. You can also call 1800-Medicare if you have questions. Explore the 2009 Medicare & You handbook that you should have received last month.

Medicare Advantage beneficiaries can change or cancel their plan between Jan. 1 and March 31, 2009. During that time, no change can be made to your Medicare Medical Savings Account Plan.

Getting through Medicare part D should not be difficult for 2009. There are many resources available to help you choose which prescription plan can best meet your financial and health needs. Again, speak with your physician about medication options. Many prescriptions available do the same job.

Visit the Medicare 2009 Open Enrollment site for more information.

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