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Savvy Medicare Consumers Can Save Hundreds During Medicare Open Enrollment
Date:10/11/2011

WASHINGTON, Oct. 11, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This Saturday marks the beginning of Medicare's Annual Open Enrollment Period, which runs through December 7. During this time, people with Medicare can select or change their Medicare Part D prescription drug plan for 2012, along with a host of other options.

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Medicare, and related programs, offer a wide range of benefits and services to help older adults, and individuals with disabilities, live a healthier life. But far too many beneficiaries are not familiar with what's available or how to use their benefits to the fullest. People with Medicare need to understand what coverage they currently have and shop around for plans that may better fit their health needs, and save them money.

Recently, NCOA surveyed baby boomers and seniors regarding their knowledge of Medicare.  Among other findings, the survey showed that a large percentage of baby boomers and seniors aged 65+ do not understand Medicare, and are unaware of important recent or impending changes to the program, specifically that the Open Enrollment Period starts and ends earlier this year, as a result of the Affordable Care Act, or health care reform.  

Details on the poll, sponsored by UnitedHealthCare, can be found at www.ncoa.org/Medicare.

"Medicare plans change every year, and this year, the changes are significant," said Nora Dowd Eisenhower, vice president, Benefits Access Group, and director of NCOA's National Center for Benefits Outreach and Enrollment. "Beneficiaries should review their current plan and their health needs and explore options during Open Enrollment. Since plans change, it's important to make sure you're in the one that best meets your coverage needs. This could save you hundreds of dollars."

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SOURCE National Council on Aging
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