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Medicare & Medicaid News

AARP Offers Tips, Guidance on Choosing Plans During Medicare Open Enrollment

Changes can be made to Medicare plans from October 15 through December 7; Distinction between Medicare and Affordable Care Act open enrollment is important

Oct. 10, 2013 – AARP is offering senior citizens tips on choosing the right plan during the Medicare Open Enrollment period, which opens October 15. The organization is also cautioning those in Medicare to not be confused by the open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) – senior citizens still get their health insurance at

During Medicare Open Enrollment, people have the important opportunity to evaluate their current coverage and make changes they see fit based on changes in lifestyle, health status or personal preference, according to AARP.


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Consumer Reports Ranks, Scores Medicare Advantage, Other Health Plans for 2014

CR finds that higher cost does not mean better care; complete report in magazine, rankings free online, Medicare open enrollment starts October 15

Oct. 5, 2013

Understanding the Difference between Medicare and the Health Insurance Marketplaces

Marketplaces are for people who do not have insurance, people on Medicare are insured by Medicare

By Ron Pollack, Executive Director, Families USA

Oct. 1, 2013

Senior Citizens Need to Get Ready for Medicare Open Enrollment

Seniors covered by Medicare do not need to buy health insurance on the Health Insurance Marketplace - Medicare Open Enrollment starts October 15

Oct. 1, 2013

Poor Communication to Senior Citizens About Obamacare May Be Costly Error

Even key news release from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services misleads senior citizens – its primary audience

By Tucker Sutherland, editor & publisher,

Oct. 1, 2013

Seniors on Medicare Don’t Need to Apply to the Health Law Marketplaces

Q&A by Kaiser Health News on what senior citizens need to know about the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)

By Mary Agnes Carey, KHN Staff Writer

Sept. 23, 2013

As Medicare Open Enrollment Nears More Seniors Opting for Quality Medicare Advantage Plans

Open enrollment begins October 15 and ends on December 7; period when those in Medicare can choose new health and drug plans

Sept. 19, 2013


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Changes that can be made include adding, dropping or changing prescription drug coverage or health care plans for 2014.

“Your health and prescription drug needs may change from year to year or the plan you have may make changes,” said Nicole Duritz, AARP Vice President, Health Education and Outreach. “That’s why regardless of whether you have original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan, it’s important to evaluate your choices during open enrollment.”

Information on Medicare Open Enrollment is available online through the Medicare Plan Finder at or by calling Medicare at 1-800 - 633-4227.

When reviewing available plans, AARP recommends considering each of the following:

Tip from Consumer Reports

I am in Medicare, what do I do about Obamacare?

You don’t have to do anything or buy anything extra.

Medicare Part A and Advantage plans fully qualify as insurance under the new law. And nothing significant about Medicare is changing in 2014. Benefits and programs will work the same as they do now. But there is one situation in which the new health care law might help: You are a new enrollee and your spouse isn’t on Medicare yet.

Once the older spouse enrolls in Medicare, the younger, often nonworking spouse, may suddenly be without insurance. The spouse often has a hard time buying an individual policy because of pre-existing conditions.

Now the younger spouse can buy a plan on the marketplace and not worry about getting turned down or charged extra on the basis of a pre-existing condition.

Note: If you’re the younger spouse, you’ll need to put down your joint income when applying for marketplace coverage, even though you’re the only one doing the buying. Your subsidy, if any, will be based on that number.

Cost - not just the monthly premium, but the annual deductible and co-pays and co-insurance

Coverage - the doctors and pharmacies included in the plan and the prescription drugs and other services you need

Convenience – the accessibility of doctors, pharmacies and services and how they match your lifestyle

Customer Service – the quality of service a plan provides. Quality ratings are available for most Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans, so take a look.

AARP is also reminding people with Medicare that they don’t need to look in the Health Insurance Marketplace for coverage.  They should continue to visit to find out about options for Medicare coverage.

“We know there are scammers out there,” says Duritz. “So we’re spreading the word to make sure Medicare beneficiaries know where to get accurate information.”

For more information on Medicare Open Enrollment visit

For more information on the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) visit

AARP reports it is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million.

Financial Relief for Volkswagen Diesel Owners

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In the major scandal of 2015, Volkswagen cheated you and the world. They rigged diesel emission controls so you, nor regulators, would know how much pollution their cars were adding to our environment.

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