Get help changing Medicare plans

Submitted on Wednesday November 16th, 2011

If you are dissatisfied with your relative's current Medicare coverage, it's time to get into action! Changes are possible only once a year. This year, the annual open enrollment period starts and ends EARLIER than before: October 15 to December 7.

Here’s a quick review of the parts of Medicare:
"Original Medicare"

  • Part A covers inpatient time at a hospital (part of Social Security).
  • Part B covers doctor visits and other outpatient care (part of Social Security).
  • Part D covers medications (offered by private insurance companies).

Additional options are available through private companies

  • Advantage plans (sometimes called "Part C") are Medicare-approved plans. They generally combine Parts A, B, & D into one package. They often include extra services.
  • "Medigap" plans supplement Original Medicare. They pay for the 20% Medicare doesn't cover.

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