December 19, 2008

Open enrollment period ends

Open enrollment period ends

Dec. 31 for Medicare Part D

If you are a senior, are you satisfied with your present Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan? If not, the time to review your plan now.

The open enrollment period for Medicare Part D is now through Dec. 31. Medicare currently covers more than 106,000 North Dakotans.

The annual open enrollment gives beneficiaries the opportunity to enroll in a new Part D plan or make changes to their existing coverage for 2009 to better serve their needs.

"People change and so do their medical needs. Patients can now make their benefits work for them," said a State Health Insurance Counseling (SHIC) office spokesperson.

Seniors wanting to compare their plans are being urged to talk with their local pharmacist.

Seniors can also visit or call 1-800-MEDICARE. North Dakotans also contact the SHIC office where counseling is available by calling 2-1-1 or 1-888-575-6611. These resources will allow them to easily compare their current coverage to their medical and financial needs to determine the most suitable options available to them in their area.

More than 80 percent of Medicare Part D Beneficiaries report satisfaction with their current benefits. This number is likely to increase now that patients will have the ability to tailor their plan to meet their changing medical needs.

Seniors with limited income should also take this opportunity to find out if they quality for additional assistance to cover out-of-pocket prescription drug costs. Local Social Security Offices can help seniors determine if they are eligible for this additional benefit. Seniors can also call the Social Security Administration at (800) 772-1213 for further assistance.

Gov. John Hoeven, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Mike Leavitt and Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm encouraged North Dakotans to review and compare Medicare Part D prescription drug plans during this year’s open enrollment period.

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