28 December 2009

Time To Pick Your Annual Drug Plan

The Wall Street Journal

As the year comes to a close, so does the open-enrollment period for Medicare prescription-drug plans.

The deadline to make changes to Medicare drug plans is Dec. 31, except for people who qualify for a special enrollment period like those in a low-income subsidy program.

Generally, there are two types of drug plans to choose from: a stand-alone prescription-drug plan if you are part of traditional Michigan Medicare or drug coverage that's attached to a private Medicare health plan.

You should review all of the drug-plan options, even if you are happy with your current plan, says Paul Precht, spokesman for the advocacy group Medicare Rights Center. "These plans change," he says. "There's no guarantee that if it worked for you this year, it will work just as well for you next year."

To compare plan costs, go to Medicare.gov, click on the "Compare Drug Plans" link and enter personal information, including which medications you take.

"It will show you which plan is going to be the cheapest for you over the course of the year, from the combination of premiums, deductibles, co-payments, as well as what drugs the plan covers," he says.

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