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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 17, 2017

Medicare Open Enrollment ends Dec. 7; how to review options to fit health needs

Dec 04, 2017

Medicare offers a wide range of health choices, from Original Medicare (Parts A and Parts B), Medicare Advantage plans, and the Medicare prescription drug benefit.

Your health needs change from year to year and your Medicare benefits and costs may change each year too. That’s why it’s important to review your Medicare options each fall and choose the option that best fits your health needs through assistance such as Medicare.gov plan finder.

You can compare your current plan to other options and see if you can lower your costs or find a better plan suited to your needs. Medicare Open Enrollment is the best time for people with Medicare to see what choices Medicare has to offer and make changes to their coverage.

Whether you have Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan, both offer several important benefits and protections, including:

• Certain preventive benefits — including certain cancer screenings — are available at no cost to you when provided by participating health professionals. The annual wellness visit lets you sit down with your doctor to discuss your health care needs and the best ways to stay healthy.

• Medicare will notify you about plan performance and the ability to use the online Plan Finder to compare and enroll in high quality plans. It’s worth it to take the time to review and compare your Medicare coverage options, but you don’t have to do it alone. Medicare is available to help.

• Visit the Medicare.gov plan finder (http://www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan) to compare your current coverage with all of the options that are available in your area, and choose a new plan if you decide to make a change.

• Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) 24-hours a day/7 days a week to find out more about your coverage options. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.

• Review the Medicare & You 2018 handbook. It’s mailed to people with Medicare in September and is also available online at Medicare.gov.

• If you have limited income and resources, you may be able to get Extra Help paying your prescription drug coverage costs. For more information, visit socialsecurity.gov/i1020 or call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213. TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778.

• Get one-on-one help from your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). Visit Medicare.gov/contacts or call 1-800-MEDICARE to get the phone number.

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