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Local AARP gets Medicare answers

November 18, 2009
Times Leader
ON?THURSDAY, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) will offer members a Medicare Part D benefits check-up at the regular monthly meeting at the J.B. Martin Center.
Many different plans are offered in Belmont County that can reduce the amount seniors pay for medication.
Medicare Open Enrollment starts Nov. 15 and ends Dec. 31 of each calendar year. During this time, all eligible seniors should examine their coverage choices to make sure it is right for them.
There is no penalty for switching plans, but you can only switch plans during the open enrollment period.
For this year, the period is Nov. 15 through Dec. 31.
If you do not enroll/switch by Dec. 31, you may not be eligible until the next open enrollment period in the fall of 2010.
Part D plans are very different and beneficiaries need to check their plans every year to make sure current medications are covered at the best cost.
If you find that your Medicare Part D plan is not meeting your healthcare or financial needs, you may want to consider changing plans.
Your medications may change from year to year, your plan may have changed or you may have experienced a coverage gap.
Even if you’re satisfied with your current plan, costs may be much higher this year.
In fact, it’s certain that you can expect a significant increase in the premiums for your current plan.
If you switch/enroll during Open Enrollment, between Nov. 15 and Dec. 31 of this year, your Medicare Part D coverage will begin on Jan. 1, 2010 and will continue for the entire year.
You need to compare Medicare Part D plans before switching.  Comparing plans can save you money, because it can help you select a plan that is cost-efficient based on your specific medication needs. 
If you find out that your current plan is still the best for you, do nothing and you will automatically be enrolled in it for the following year.
It is easy to compare plans to determine which one is right for you.
Mary Harrison, Director of Admissions from Heartland Lansing will be at the Belmont County AARP meeting on Thursday. 
She will help you compare plans at Medicare.gov.
Make sure you bring your current medication list and Medicare card to help determine which plan is right for you.
You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE to have a plan comparison done for you.  You can also contact Mary Harrison at Heartland Lansing to schedule an appointment to do a comparison at (740) 635-4600.
Thursday’s meeting at the J.B. Martin Center will begin at 10:30 a.m. Blood pressure, oxygen level readings are at 11-11:45 a.m. Toys for Tots collection will also take place at this meeting.
Election of officers for 2010 will be held after a short business meeting.  An auction will be held after the election.
 
 

 

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