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Medicare Open Enrollment

Medicare Open Enrollment is now open! This is the time of year when people 65 years and older can review their current health and drug coverage and make changes in their coverage if needed. Open enrollment for 2019 coverage is open from October 15, 2018 - December 7, 2018.

Here's what you need to know about Medicare:

Medicare is an insurance plan provided by the federal government. It is divided into 4 parts with each part covering a different need. You must be enrolled in Medicare Parts A & B in order to enroll in Medicare Part D.

*Medicare Part A: Covers hospital expenses

*Medicare Part B: Covers outpatient expenses. These include doctor's visits, immunizations, X-rays, labs and day surgeries that do not require an overnight stay in the hospital.

*Medicare Part C: This is also known as Medicare Advantage. It is offered by private insurance companies who are contracted with the government. It provides the same services as Parts A & B but may also include coverage for dental, vision, and/or prescription drug coverage.

*Medicare Part D: Covers prescription drugs. A person must be enrolled in Parts A & B in order to enroll in part D.

How do I compare Medicare Plans and how much will they cost?

You can search for plan options & prices online at Medicare Plan Finder or you can have someone help you research plan options. There are people who have special training in helping people find the best Medicare plan based on each individual's needs.

The Medicare Plan Finder website allows for you to enter your zip code, prescription medications and preferred pharmacies to help you make the choice that is best for you.

Did you know?

Medicare Advantage or Part D plans can change their drug formularies every year. So in 2018 your prescription medication might be covered, but in 2019 that same drug may not be covered by the same insurance plan. Medicare plans may also change their network of providers, change the way they cover a medical service and/or drop additional benefits like dental, vision and hearing coverage.

So, it is a good idea to double check your coverage during open enrollment so you can make changes if needed.

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