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Medicare Open Enrollment

For 2018 Medicare coverage, open enrollment is in the
Fall of 2017,
from October 15 to December 7th.

Medicare Open Enrollment

Every year, folks with Medicare get to explore new choices and pick the plans that work best for them. Remember: Medicare is to make sure folks can identify and enroll in the coverage option that best suits your needs for 2017.


Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older, certain younger people with disabilities and people with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant, sometimes called ESRD).

Different parts of Medicare help cover specific services:

MEDICARE PART A (Hospital Insurance):

Part A covers inpatient hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care and some home health care.

MEDICARE PART B (Medical Insurance):

Part B covers certain doctor's services, outpatient care, medical supplies, and preventive services.

MEDICARE PART C (Medicare Advantage Plans HMO or PPO):

A type of Medicare health plan offered by a private company that contracts with Medicare to provide you with all your Part A and Part B benefits. They include Health Maintenance Organizations, Preferred Provider Organizations, Private Fee-for-Service Plans, Special Needs Plans, and Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans. If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, most Medicare services are covered through the plan and are not paid for under Original Medicare.

Most Medicare Advantage Plans offer prescription drug coverage. People who option to stay enrolled in a Part C Medicare Advantage Plan for their basic health care services have the option to stay in that plan, choose a different plan or going back to the Original Medicare program. Plans change from year to year, so review and see if your health has changed, as these are important choices that should be made with care.

MEDICARE PART D (Prescription Drug Coverage):

Part D adds prescription drug coverage to Original Medicare, some Medicare Cost Plans, some Medicare Private-Fee-for-Services. The Part D standalone prescription drug plans will drop 14%, to 1001 plans. This is the smallest number of offerings since the Medicare Plan program began in 2006. However, seniors across the country will still have a choice of at least two dozen plans in their area. The drug plans consolidations, which drive the reductions in choices will likely shift many beneficiaries into lower cost plans, which result in an average premium decline of 2%, to $38.95. *Underscoring the importance of evaluating plan options, 70% of standalone drug plan members will likely see premiums increase if they stick with the same plans in 2017.

Not sure what kind of coverage you have? Here are some ways to find out:

Check your red, white and blue Medicare card. Check all other insurance cards that you use. Call the phone number on the cards to get more information about the coverage. Check your Medicare health or drug plan enrollment. Call Medicare at 1-800-633-4227. TTY users call 1-877-486-2048.  For additional information: https://www.medicareresources.org/


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