Classifieds Business Directory Jobs Real Estate Autos Legal Notices Forums Subscribe Archives
Today is August 19, 2014
home news sports feature opinionhappenings society obits techtips

Front Page » November 18, 2008 » Opinion » Letter to the editor: The gift of good health
Published 2,100 days ago

Letter to the editor: The gift of good health


Print PageEmail PageShareGet Reprints

By GRACE-MARIE TURNER
Alexandria
VA

Editor,

The holiday season is here again. But amidst the hustle and bustle of gift-giving and family get-togethers, seniors enrolled in Medicare Part D should carve out time to consider whether they want to stay with their current prescription drug plan.

From Nov. 15 through the end of the year, Medicare is holding its annual "open enrollment" period for Part D. During this time, eligible seniors can sign-up or change plans. Seniors can compare their current coverage with others among the many competing Medicare drug plans. They can decide whether to stay with their current coverage or switch to another plan that may offer lower premiums or more coverage options.

Unlike traditional government programs, where there's just one plan for everyone, Medicare Part D is structured so that insurance companies must compete for customers. Knowing that beneficiaries have the option to switch means that insurers have to make their plans attractive or they will lose customers. The record shows that this results in more choices and lower costs.

In 2003, lawmakers estimated seniors would pay an average monthly premium for prescription drug coverage in 2009 of more than $44. But according to government officials, their average monthly premium next year for the standard plan will be just $28.

But some drug plans are raising their prices and changing the specific drugs available. So every senior who is enrolled -- even those that are happy with their plans should be sure to seize this once-a-year opportunity to review their coverage.

Web savvy seniors can do this is through Medicare's website at www.Medicare.gov. There, using the "Medicare Plan Finder," seniors can compare plans based on price, drug coverage, and out-of-pocket expenses. Seniors can also use the Plan Finder to compare the cost of filling a prescription their local pharmacy versus a mail-order drug store.

Seniors without web access can always call 1-800-Medicare and speak with a customer service representative who will talk them through their choices. Seniors may also want to assess whether one of the Medicare Advantage plans also may be right for them. These plans offer a full range of health services and some of them include prescription drug coverage at no extra cost.

Medicare's open-enrollment period ends on Dec. 31, so seniors should act fast to check their options and make sure they're enrolled in the most-affordable plan that best suits their needs. After all, the best gift is good health

Print PageEmail PageShareGet Reprints


Top of Page


 
Web Poll  
April 25, 2011
Do you you think the national deficit that Congress has been struggling with can be better solved by increasing taxes or by cutting spending?
Increasing taxes
Cutting spending
Combination of both
Don't know or don't care

View Results

Opinion  
November 18, 2008
Recent Opinion
Quick Links
Subscribe via RSS
Related Articles  
Related Stories



Best viewed with Firefox
Get Firefox

© Emery County Progress, 2000-2008. All rights reserved. All material found on this website, unless otherwise specified, is copyright and may not be reproduced without the explicit written permission from the publisher of the Emery County Progress.
Legal Notices & Terms of Use    Privacy Policy    Advertising Info    FAQ    Contact Us
  RSS Feeds    News on Your Site    Staff Information    Submitting Content    About Us
z