Senior Citizens Must Make 2013 Medicare Plan
Choice by End of Open Enrollment on December 7
Just days remain for senior citizens to
make Medicare plan choices for 2013 - if they want to change from
current plan; HHS secretary says Obamacare has
made health plans better
Medicare 2013 Open Enrollment
Oct. 15 thru Dec. 7
find Medicare tools and information, and compare the cost or
benefits of 2013 Medicare drug & health plans in your area, Click
Call 1-800 MEDICARE
Dec. 3, 2012 – With only days remaining
before the window closes on Medicare Open Enrollment, senior citizens
are being reminded that the improvements to the drug program by the
Affordable Care Act have already saved 5.8 million seniors, and others
with Medicare, $5.1 billion - primarily by reducing the donut hole.
Seniors have until the end of the day on Friday, Dec. 7 to make new choices on a
drug program or Medicare Advantage.
In just the first 10 months of 2012,
almost 2.8 million individuals have saved an average of $677 on
prescription drugs. Since the passage of Obamacare, 5.8 million people
with Medicare have benefited, according to Health and Human Services
Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
“The health care law is saving money for
people with Medicare,” Secretary Sebelius said. “Everyone with Medicare
should look at their health and drug plan options for additional value
before the Medicare open enrollment period ends this week.”
For 2013 the health care law provides
people with Medicare in the donut hole with greater savings, as
discounts rise to 53 percent of the cost of brand name drugs and 21
percent of the cost of generic drugs. Savings on Medicare coverage of
prescription drugs will gradually increase until 2020, when the donut
hole will be closed.
Because of the health care law, people
with Medicare can be healthier with free access (no deductible or
co-pay) to many preventive services. Before 2011, people with Medicare
had to pay part of the cost for many preventive services. Cost is no
longer a barrier for seniors who want to stay healthy and treat problems
early. In 2011, an estimated 32.5 million people with original Medicare
or Medicare Advantage received one or more free preventive benefits.
Open Enrollment Period
Ends Dec. 7
During Medicare’s annual open enrollment
period, people with Medicare should compare costs, benefits and quality
of Medicare health and drug plans to find the best value for 2013,
according to the announcement from Sec. Sebelius.
People with Medicare should regularly
examine their health care choices because individuals’ unique health
needs as well as their health or prescription drug plan can change from
year to year.
Those who make their coverage elections
by Dec. 7, 2012, will ensure new coverage can begin without interruption
on Jan. 1, 2013.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid
Services (CMS) encourages people with Medicare to enroll in high quality
plans and get the most value for their premiums. Medicare health and
prescription drug plans with 5 star ratings may continuously market and
enroll beneficiaries throughout 2013. Medicare beneficiaries in
consistently low performing plans (those receiving less than 3 star
ratings for at least the past three years) have been notified about
their plan’s poor performance and how they can switch to a higher
Additionally, earlier this month, CMS
announced that individuals with Medicare who are affected by Hurricane
Sandy and unable to make a plan selection by Dec. 7, 2012, can still
enroll in health and prescription drug coverage for 2013 by calling
1-800-MEDICARE anytime, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
People who are satisfied that their
current coverage under original Medicare or a Medicare health or drug
plan meets their needs for next year, do not need to take any action to
continue their current coverage.
There are things women in particular should know about Social Security
- Aug. 3, 2012
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