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Medicare Open Enrollment

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It’s that time of year again. The leaves are off the trees, cold-weather gear is making a re-appearance, and AARP South Dakota is reminding anyone on Medicare to review their Medicare Part D Prescription drug plan. As always, every year, you have the option to review and change your Medicare plan from November 15 - December 31.

Open enrollment is a 6-week period where you can review the new Medicare plan options with your existing coverage. You can compare and contrast plans and then select the Medicare plan that best meets your needs. This is the ideal time for people with Medicare prescription drug plans or Medicare Advantage to review the new plan options.

Just as your health may change from year to year, Medicare plans can change annually. For this reason, it is a good idea to use the open enrollment period to compare your options and select the right Medicare coverage. Whether you have Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, or a Part D prescription drug plan, you should make sure the plan you have now, will be the best plan for you in the year ahead.

While reviewing your Medicare Part D prescription drug plan it is important to know that in 2011, anyone who falls in to the prescription drug coverage gap, also known as the doughnut hole, will receive a 50% discount on name brand drugs and a 7% discount on generics while in the coverage gap.

Not sure where to start? There are a number of resources available to help you review your current plan and compare it against other plans offered in 2011 to make a decision that makes sense for you. Medicare counselors right here in South Dakota can help you sort through the information. To speak with a counselor, contact SHIINE, the Senior Health Information and Insurance Education. In eastern South Dakota, call 1-800-536-8197 or 605-333-3314, in central South Dakota, 1-877-331-4834 or 605-224-3212; in Western South Dakota 1-877-286-9072 or 605-342-8635.

AARP has additional information online about the new health care law take advantage of the resources. And, throughout the remainder of 2010, watch for information and resources on fighting fraud in health care.

Find information and resources to fight health care fraud.

Getting Ready for Open Enrollment.

Contact SHIINE in South Dakota.

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