Time Once Again for Medicare Open Enrollment


Once again Medicare’s annual open enrollment time is upon our senior citizens. This year the enrollment runs from November 15th through December 31st.

There will be no Social Security cost-of-living adjustment next year. Medicare Part B monthly premiums will increase for new enrollees and higher-income seniors by up to 15%. Seniors will want to scrutinize their spending on medications more than usual.

Prescription drug plans change each year. Often an individuals prescription drugs change from year to year. Inertia can keep a person in the same plan year after year, but it could be money saving to do your homework and change plans.


Talk with your insurance agent, your pharmacist, your local Agency on Aging for help. One of the best sources for a beneficiary to determine their share of the bill is to visit Medicare's Web site at www.medicare.gov and use the Plan Finder tool. There you can enter the drugs you'll take next year. The Plan Finder will then give you a cost comparison of out-of-pocket costs under different plans.

Medicare’s Plan Finder has been enhanced to alert seniors to any restrictions that plans may have placed on certain drugs. “Affordable” plans can be a headache to deal with if too many restrictions are attached.

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I was paying $240 per month AFTER my medicare supplement went up by 18% this year. I found www.nationalmedicareservicecenter.com and they showed me (over the phone) 14 different options I had. When we were done, I was paying $140 per month for the same plan (F) with the exact same benefits - from a much bigger and better company. So, SHOP SHOP SHOP!