Medicare Opens Enrollment for 2014 Plans, Says Plan
Prices Holding Steady
See video in story on how to use the Medicare Plan
Finder to compare available plans, make your selection; lead video about
Open Enrollment period
Oct. 15, 2013 - Medicare Open
Enrollment opened today, according to an announcement by the Centers for
Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) which has been dark since the
government shutdown resulting from the Republican attack on the
Affordable Care Act. The enrollment period will end on December 7. The
CMS announcement encourages people with Medicare to review their current
health and prescription drug coverage options for 2014 and reminds them
this is not part of the Affordable Care Act’s new Health Insurance
Marketplace, and people with Medicare do not need to do anything with
“Thanks to the Affordable Care
Act, Medicare remains strong with more benefits, better choices, and
lower costs to beneficiaries,” said CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner.
“Seniors and people with disabilities have the opportunity to find and
compare the best plan for them.”
month that the average Medicare Advantage (MA) premium is projected to
be $32.60. Earlier this year, CMS
the average basic Medicare prescription drug premium plan in 2014 was
projected to be $31 per month, holding steady for four years in a row.
Since the passage of the Affordable
Care Act, average MA premiums are down by 9.8 percent. The deductible
for standard Part D plans will decline by $15 in 2014 to $310.
Prescription drug and health plan quality continues to improve as over
one-third of MA contracts will receive four or more stars, which is an
increase from 28 percent last year. CMS is allowing 5-star Medicare
health and prescription drug plans to enroll beneficiaries at any time
during the year.
Medicare plans’ coverage options
and costs can change each year, and Medicare beneficiaries should
evaluate their current coverage and choices, and select the plan that
best meets their needs. If people with Medicare are satisfied with
their current coverage and feel it will meet their needs for 2014, they
do not need to do anything.
People with Medicare who have
limited income and resources may qualify for Extra Help paying for their
prescription drug costs. There is no cost or obligation to apply for
Extra Help, also called the low-income subsidy. Medicare beneficiaries,
family members, or caregivers can apply online at
www.socialsecurity.gov/prescriptionhelpor call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY users
should call 1-800-325-0778) to find out more.
Protecting Against Fraud and
During Medicare Open Enrollment,
Medicare recommends that people with Medicare treat their Medicare
number as they do their Social Security number and credit card
People with Medicare should never
give their personal information to anyone arriving at their home
uninvited or making unsolicited phone calls selling Medicare-related
products or services. Beneficiaries who believe they are a victim of
fraud or identity theft should contact Medicare (contact information
above). More information is at
Window for making changes to your Medicare
coverage opens October 15, closes December 7
Oct. 14, 2013 -
With the Medicare’s open enrollment period opening on Tuesday,
this is a good summary of the basics about Medicare health
insurance – what is available to keep you healthy with plans
that meet your needs. It is by Pamela Yip, a business writer for
the Dallas Morning News, who regularly covers Medicare. Click to
Dallas Morning News
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