Open Enrollment for Medicare Starts Today: Nov 15-Dec 31
By Donald Berwick, MD, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
|Today, November 15, Medicare’s Open Enrollment period begins, and runs through December 31. Open Enrollment offers people with Medicare----including those with Original Medicare---an opportunity to review their current health and prescription drug coverage; compare health and drug plan options available in their area, and choose coverage that best meets their needs.|
Although this is an annual event, this year is an especially important time for people with Medicare to take advantage of the Open Enrollment period. The Affordable Care Act provides new benefits to most people with Medicare in 2011, including:
- A 50% discount on covered brand name drugs if you hit the prescription drug ‘donut hole,’
- A free annual wellness visit, and
- No co-pays for recommended preventive services
If you or someone you love has Medicare, checking out some options during Open Enrollment may result greater savings or even better coverage than you have this year.
For assistance during Open Enrollment, visit www.medicare.gov, consult your 2011 Medicare & You Handbook, or call 1-800-MEDICARE. You can also get one-on-one counseling assistance from your local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP).
Here at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), we are working hard each and every day to ensure that Medicare stays strong, and that people with Medicare have access to quality, affordable care. We encourage all seniors and people with disabilities in the program to look at their current coverage, compare it to the options available, and decide which coverage best meets their needs during this Open Enrollment period.
Note: Remember---protect your personal information---don’t give out your Medicare number to anyone who arrives at your home uninvited, calls you and asks for it, or offers you free equipment or services in exchange for your Medicare number. Guard your Social Security and Medicare numbers like you would your credit cards. (Visit stopmedicarefraud.gov for more information.)