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2008 Open Enrollment for Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Coverage and Medicare Advantage Plans Begins Today
Date:11/15/2007

Campaign Features Major Outreach to Beneficiaries Eligible for Low Income Subsidies, Enhanced Publications and Online Tools

WASHINGTON, Nov. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that, beginning today, Medicare beneficiaries will be able to begin making enrollment changes in their health and prescription drug coverage for 2008, if necessary. The Medicare annual Open Enrollment Period for prescription drug plan runs from Nov. 15 through Dec. 31, 2007.

In addition, for Medicare Advantage (MA) plans only, beneficiaries can make one change in enrollment -- enrolling in a new plan, changing plans or canceling a plan -- between Jan. 1 and March 31, 2008.

"Now is the time for beneficiaries to prepare and compare their health and prescription drug coverage options and choose the plan that best meets their needs," HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said. "We intend to keep building on the success the program has achieved thus far. The most recent satisfaction rate stands at 86 percent; the estimated average premium is 40 percent lower than originally estimated and total estimated costs are running $188 billion below initial projections. Part D is a program that is working well and is helping Medicare beneficiaries with their prescription drug costs."

HHS' Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) encourages all beneficiaries to act soon to compare their current plan with other plan options. If they are satisfied with their current plan, they do not need to do anything in order to maintain coverage. CMS wants eligible beneficiaries who do not have prescription drug coverage to know that, if they wait, they may pay a penalty on their premium.

Beneficiaries are encouraged to review their prescriptions and other health needs when assessing the plan options described in the "Medicare & You" handbook or on http://www.medicare.gov. In
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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