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Medicare Part D Open Enrollment Begins October 15

Humans are creatures of habit. Whether we admit it or not, we love routines and have a natural aversion to change.

Whether it’s a result of our natural aversion to change or the thought of reading the confusing and seemingly endless fine print, many participants in Medicare Part D maintain the same prescription drug coverage they have always had without considering their options.

This is a bad idea that could cost you money and quality of coverage.

If you currently have Medicare Hospital or Medicare Medical Insurance (Medicare Parts A and/or B), you can enroll or re-enroll in a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan or Medicare Advantage Plan with Prescription Coverage starting on October 15 through December 7, 2013. This period is called the Annual Coordinated Election Period, and any Medicare Part D plan you choose during this time will begin on January 1, 2014.

If you turn 65 years old or become eligible for Medicare outside of the Annual Coordinated Election Period, there is a seven (7) month window in which you can enroll in the 2014 plan and avoid any penalties.

If you already have a Medicare Part D plan, then this is your opportunity to look back over the past year and decide whether you want to stick with the same coverage for next year or make a change. If you don’t make a decision then you will remain in the same plan as you elected in 2013. No enrollment is required to renew your present coverage. However, if you are not currently enrolled in a Medicare Part D plan, and do not enroll during this period, your next chance for coverage is January 2015.

A careful review of your current Medicare Part D plan or private Medicare Advantage plan may uncover important information, like increasing co-payments, limitation of certain services, or loss drug coverage. It is even more important to consider your options if you have developed health issues or have been prescribed new medications since last year.

By Eric J. Einhart, Esq. – Guest Blogger

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