What Medicare Beneficiaries Need to Know about Part D Open Enrollment

The Medicare Part D Open Enrollment period began on October 15 and will continue through December 7.  When the Part D program began, the Healthcare Leadership Council created the Medicare Today coalition to help mobilize national and local organizations to provide seniors with information about how to utilize their Medicare prescription drug benefit.  Ever since we launched this initiative, we keep a close eye on the questions beneficiaries are asking about Part D.  Here are answers to some of the frequently-asked questions.

Q) What is the best online resource for open enrollment?
A) There are a number of helpful resources online that can answer your questions and help you find a plan that works for you:

  • Medicare.gov is a one-stop shop for information about Part D:
  • It also houses helpful information about how to get drug coverage, what drug plans cover and how Part D works with other insurance plans.
  • Medicare Today, an initiative hosted by the Healthcare Leadership Council, provides an overview of the open enrollment process to help get you started.

Q) Is there a collection of tips or best practices you recommend?
A) A number of other organizations also have helpful resources.

  • Consumer Reports’ resident health insurance expert, Nancy Metcalf, has answered questions to help guide people through the open enrollment process. She addresses how to find a better plan and provides resources on Part D.
  • Medicare Today also hosts a helpful list of requirements on its Website.

Q) Are premiums going up or down in 2013?
A) The specific premium change depends on the plan you select. However, on average premiums will be staying the same for the third year in a row according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Q) What if I wait until early next year to change my plan?
A) Any changes will need to wait until next year’s Open Enrollment period if not completed in the time allotted this year.

We will be adding to this post throughout open enrollment with helpful information, so be sure to check back for updates. Also, if you have found a particularly helpful resource, please share it in the comments space below or via Twitter.