Nov. 15 marks the opening of the Medicare enrollment period where people can review their drug and health plans and if they want to, switch to another plan with better benefits or lower costs.
There may be dozens of choices where you live — all with different costs and benefits. Though regulated by the federal government, these plans are all run by private insurance companies. To help you choose the one that is best for you Medicare offers some tools.
The most effective way is to use the plan finder program on Medicare’s website. There, you can compare cost and benefit details for all the plans available to you. If you’re looking for your best deal on drug coverage, the program automatically does the math to find the one that covers your drugs at the least cost, according to your own prescribed medications.
The following AARP links also help simplify the process, taking you step by step through the online program to directly find the information you need and avoid pitfalls: Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage Health Plan 2011.
You can also call the Medicare help line at 1-800-633-4227 and ask a customer service representative to make the same search for you. You also can request to have information on plans that seem suitable sent to you by e-mail or regular mail.