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Medicare News

Wednesday Last Day to Change Medicare Plans; Medicare Touts Savings for Seniors

Nearly three million people with Medicare receiving discounts on prescription drugs, 24.2 million receiving free preventive care

Dec. 6, 2011 - Today, on the day before Open Enrollment for 2012 ends, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that as of November 1, more senior citizens and people with disabilities on Medicare have seen significantly lower costs for important health care – through both discounts on brand-name drugs in the Medicare Part D "donut hole" coverage gap and free preventive care.

“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans are receiving free preventive services and getting cheaper prescription drugs,” said Acting CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner.

“The open enrollment period ends tomorrow. People with Medicare should review their current plans before midnight December 7, so they can make sure that the plan they will have in 2012 is the best one for their health care needs.”


Related Archive Stories


Medicare Advantage Plans Still Growing as Open Enrollment Nears End

December 7 last day to change, add health care, drug plans in Medicare for 2012; more gains in MAs expected

By Mary Agnes Carey, KHN Staff Writer

Dec. 4, 2011


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Data show that 2.65 million people with Medicare have saved more than $1.5 billion on their prescriptions – averaging about $569 per person.

And, as of the end of November, more than 24.2 million people with Medicare have taken advantage of at least one free preventive benefit – including the new Annual Wellness Visit – made possible by the Affordable Care Act.

Building on savings in 2011, Medicare also recently announced that the Part B deductible will be $22 lower in 2012 and average Medicare Advantage premiums are projected to drop four percent in 2012.

Click to Medicare Page to help find Medicare plansPart B premiums, which cover outpatient services including doctor visits, are estimated to increase by only $3.50 per month for most beneficiaries in 2012, and some will see a decrease. These changes will be more than offset by the average Social Security cost of living increase ($43 per month for retired workers).

People with Medicare can now review their drug and health plan coverage options for 2012 as part of the annual Medicare Open Enrollment Period. CMS is highlighting plans that have achieved an overall quality rating of five stars with a high performer or “gold star” icon on Medicare’s Plan Finder –

For more information about how the Affordable Care Act closes the donut hole over time, go to:

For State-by-State information on the number of people who are benefiting from discounts in the donut hole in 2011, go to

For State-by-State information on utilization of free preventive services and the Annual Wellness Visit, go to

For more information on Medicare’s prevention benefits, go to the Share the News. Share the Health! website: Or, contact 1-800-MEDICARE.


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