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There’s Still Time to Change Your Medicare Benefits

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Medicare’s Open Enrollment period is well underway. But it’s not too late to examine and evaluate your current plan to ensure your Medicare benefits in 2011 are the very best for you and your loved ones. Just as your health changes, so should your plan to optimize your benefits and suit your needs.

Now is the time to compare and contrast plans and then select the Medicare plan that best meets your needs. If you have a prescription drug plan, pay close attention to any changes that may occur in your coverage in 2011. You have until Dec. 31 to make changes or additions to your plan.

At a glance, some of the changes include:

  • Costs: If you fall into the Part D donut hole, you’ll get a 50 percent discount on brand name prescription drugs.
  • Premiums: If you pay higher-income premiums for Part B, you’ll also pay a higher premiums for Part B, you’ll also pay a higher premium for Part D drug coverage
  • Choices: Some current plans will no longer be available, but you’ll still have plenty to choose from – between 28 and 38 prescription drug plans in each state, and at least 10 Medicare Advantage plan.
  • Free services: Traditional Medicare and most Medicare Advantage health plans will charge nothing for an annual physical and many preventive services such as mammograms and prostate cancer screenings.
  • Capped costs: Annual out-of-pocket medical expenses (excluding premiums and prescription drug costs) in most Medicare Advantage health plans will be capped at a maximum $6,700 for 2011. Some plans have much lower limits.

Some on Medicare may find that their current plan is not offered in 2011, whereas other plans may increase cost-sharing. AARP encourages you to be informed before you change or add any coverage. And to help you sort through it all, there are a number of resources in Delaware to help you review your current benefits and consider if other options might work better for you.

Call 1-800-MEDICARE

Your AARP Open Enrollment Resource

Learn more about how the health care law affects you

View Delaware’s Aging and Disability Resource Center

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