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Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Offers One-Time Chance to Change Your Mind: Allsup Outlines Rules for Switching Plans
Date:1/12/2009

_blank" title="Medicare options">Medicare plan with Part D (prescription drug) coverage to a Medicare Advantage plan with prescription drug coverage included, but cannot switch from a Medicare Advantage plan with prescription drug coverage to a traditional Medicare plan without also adding Part D coverage. Additionally, while individuals can switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another, so long as both either cover or do not cover prescription drugs, they cannot switch from one Part D plan to another. (See chart for an outline of scenarios.)

"If you have second thoughts, your financial situation has changed or your health needs have changed, open enrollment gives you a chance to make changes to help improve your situation," said Gada.

For example, Gada explained, an individual with Medicare Part D coverage who has been prescribed a costly medication may want to consider finding a Medicare Advantage plan with prescription drug coverage that provides benefits during the gap. For 2009, the gap in Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage occurs once a Medicare beneficiary's prescription drugs, including what the plan pays and the patient's own deductibles and co-pays, has reached $2,700. The individual then is responsible for paying the next $3,453.75 himself or herself.

Eligible individuals also may want to consider switching plans because of the cos
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