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Medicare & Medicaid News

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 – The timing of the government shutdown - there is no good time – has some direct implications for senior citizens, which are about to begin the annual Open Enrollment period, when those on Medicare can choose new health and drug plans. It opens on October 15 and closes on December 7, but making the right choices means researching what is available this year and making comparisons with your current program. It is critical that the Medicare website be functioning properly before and during this period.

The primary things seniors will need are access to the new Medicare & You 2014 handbook, the Medicare Compare website, and information from their current plans on their uses during the past year and changes ahead for 2014.

The Medicare & You 2014 handbook is available in a paper book format or online. This annual handbook is mailed each October. If your is in the mail, there should be no problem, since the postal service is continuing to function during the government shutdown that began today.

There is also an option – pushed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services – to receive the Medicare & You handbook online. Below is comment from the CMS Blog.


“Medicare & You” without the paper

Love your red, white, and blue “Medicare & You” handbook but love the convenience of getting information on your computer, tablet, or phone even more?

You can get all of the same information in your printed handbook online at Medicare.gov. Learn what’s new, get Medicare costs, and find out what Medicare covers. Even better, the handbook information on the web is updated regularly, so you can instantly find the most up-to-date Medicare information.

On Medicare.gov, you can also do a lot of things on your own like replace your Medicare card, change your address, sign up or make changes to your Medicare coverage, and find out important dates. All this in time for October 15 – the start of open enrollment.

Take advantage of some other great features to get just what you need:

   • Search quickly for what you want and print only the pages you need, while getting the latest, up-to-date official Medicare information, including the most recent list of available plans

   • Get “Medicare & You” in different formats like large print, eBook or audio

   • Subscribe to get an e-mail when information is updated

   • Access personalized information

And, if you’d like to trade in your printed copy for a paperless version, we’ve got you covered. You can choose to get your next “Medicare & You” handbook electronically by using the “go paperless” option. In a few simple steps, you’ll be all set. Sign up today and we’ll send you an e-mail including a link to the new online Medicare & You. It’s instant, current, and convenient.


The CMS Blog also blogged on what seniors need to know to get ready for Open Enrollment.


Open Enrollment only comes once a year – are you ready?

Medicare Open Enrollment
Oct. 15 - Dec. 7

When people with Medicare can choose their plans for 2014

Click to Medicare Site

As the days get shorter and the nights get cooler, you can expect to hear more about Medicare. That’s because October 15 – December 7 is Medicare Open Enrollment, and it’s your chance to review your health care coverage and see if you need to make any changes, or if you’re happy sticking with the plan you have.

This year, you may hear a lot about the Health Insurance Marketplace. The Marketplace Open Enrollment period (October 1, 2013–March 31, 2014) overlaps with the Medicare Open Enrollment period (October 15–December 7, 2013). The Marketplace is designed to help people who don’t have any health coverage. If you have health coverage through Medicare, the Marketplace won’t have any effect on your Medicare coverage.

Over the next few months, look around – you’ll find a wealth of information about your Medicare benefits, especially in these everyday places:

 

Related Archive Stories

 
 

Medicare & Medicaid News

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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1. In the mail

Look through your mail carefully — you may get important notices from your current plan, Medicare, or Social Security about changes to your coverage or any extra help you may get paying for prescription drugs.

Also look for your Medicare & You handbook. Like an old friend, it shows up around the same time every year. If you decided to “go paperless,” you’ll get an email pointing you to medicare.gov where you can get all the same information.

You’ll also start to see brochures from companies that offer Medicare health and drug plans. Just remember, be smart about protecting your personal information and your identity — plans aren’t allowed to call or come to your home without an invitation from you. And, it’s against the law for someone who knows that you have Medicare to sell you a Marketplace plan.

2. On your computer

Comparing your plan choices is important. Our Medicare Plan Finder is ready with all of the 2014 cost information to make it as easy as possible. Enter the drugs you take to find out how you can lower your costs, review the plan’s ratings to compare plan quality, and join a plan right online if you find one that meets your needs. If you haven’t used the Plan Finder before, check out our video to help you get started.

3. In newspapers, magazines, TV and radio

Take a moment as you enjoy these crisp mornings to tune into the Medicare information that’s out there. You may find a local event — somewhere right around the corner with counselors to help you, like your State Health Insurance Assistance Program. Don’t miss the chance to get personalized help if you need it!

Now’s the time to enjoy the choice and control you have over your health care coverage. Just like fall, Medicare Open Enrollment only comes once a year.

>> Link for signing up for paperless Medicare & You

>> From the Medicare Blog by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

 

 

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