7 Tips for Picking a Medicare Part D Plan

AGE is hosting a special event this coming Saturday (11/13/2010) to help seniors and their families learn the ins-and-outs of Medicare for open enrollment. If you can’t make it to our event, check out this helpful article from US News -SP

7 Tips for Picking a Medicare Part D Plan
How to switch into a lower-cost prescription drug plan in 2011
By Emily Brandon

Beginning next week, Medicare Part D beneficiaries will have the opportunity to switch to a new prescription plan. Choosing a plan that covers your medications for a lower cost could save you hundreds of dollars in 2011. About 2.6 million beneficiaries enrolled in prescription drug plans will see a premium increase of at least $10 per month if they stay in their current plan. Current beneficiaries can choose a new Medicare Part D
plan between November 15 and December 31. Here are some important factors to consider when choosing among the Part D plans in your area:

Compare premiums. The average monthly Part D premium will be $40.72 in 2011 if beneficiaries remain in their current plan, which is up 10 percent from $36.90 in 2010, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis. Average premiums vary considerably by location, ranging from $29.01 per month in New Mexico to $46.51 per month in Idaho and Utah. “We have seen plans that have had pretty substantial increases in premiums over the years,” says Jack Hoadley, a health policy analyst at Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute. “What may have been the cheapest plan for you three or four years ago when you first signed up may not be good for you now.” For the first time, in 2011 there will additional premium increases for high-income retirees. Part D enrollees with annual incomes above $85,000 ($170,000 for couples) will have a monthly adjustment automatically deducted from their Social Security check. If that amount is more than the amount you receive from Social Security, you will get a bill from Medicare.

Read the full article here at US News and World Report’s website.

Medicare’s Annual Open Enrollment is November 15 – December 31

From Right at Home.com

Help senior loved ones select a quality plan. The Medicare website offers tools to help compare supplemental ("Medigap") and prescription plans in your area. Download "Use Medicare's Information on Quality to Help You Compare" to learn more about things to look for.
The same percentage of Medicare beneficiaries who have access to a Medicare Advantage plan today (99.9 percent) will have access to a Medicare Advantage plan in 2010. In addition, all Medicare beneficiaries will have many prescription drug plans from which to choose.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) encourages beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug plans to review their current health and drug plan coverage for any changes their plans may be making for 2010, before the annual enrollment period begins on November 15.

In 2010, beneficiaries who are currently enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans can expect to see an average premium of about $39 a month, a $7 difference from 2009. Medicare Prescription Drug plan premiums will average $30, a $2 difference from 2009. Those who qualify for the full Medicare low-income subsidy will pay no premiums or deductibles in Medicare Prescription Drug plans.


Read more here