Put it on your fall checklist: Medicare Open Enrollment

By: Julie Green Bataille, Director of Communications

If you’re like me, fall is an extremely busy time of year—getting the kids ready for a new school year, making sure everyone in my family gets a flu shot, getting the house and yard ready for the winter. With everything we have going on, it’s so easy to forget another activity that should be on all our fall checklists: Helping our parents prepare for Medicare Open Enrollment.

Medicare Open Enrollment gives beneficiaries the chance to review their health and prescription drug coverage for the coming year. If they need to make any changes, they can do so between October 15 and December 7. But if they decide that they’re happy sticking with the coverage they have now, they don’t need to do anything else.

For all of us who are caregivers, or who just care about older parents and family members, we need to ensure that they have the right information to make the right choice. Sit down and have a conversation with them, and help them explore their options and find coverage that fits their needs.

If your parents want to go online and sort through the details, they can get an early start, and you can help them navigate the process if needed. We’ve already made sure that the Medicare Plan Finder is fully updated with all new 2013 cost and benefit information for health and drug plans and is ready right now. All your parents need to do is start by entering the drugs and checking on the doctors and pharmacies they want to use. A few more steps will get them a personalized list of their plan choices and help them compare.

Between now and December 7, your parents will be hearing more about the choices, benefits, and lower overall costs they’ll have when it comes to Medicare. We’ll also be adding tips and advice to this blog, to help them you and them consider and weigh choices, and to find places to go to get help if needed.

When Medicare Open Enrollment ends on December 7, we want every single person with Medicare to have health and drug coverage that meets their needs. But we need your help. We need you to help ensure that your older family members have the right health plan.  So when you’re preparing your fall checklist, don’t forget to put Medicare Open Enrollment at the top.

Stay up to date on the latest Medicare news and follow us on Twitter @Medicaregov.

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