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Open enrollment for Medicare prescription drug benefits

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2009 open enrollment for Medicare prescription drug and Medicare Advantage plans begins November 15, 2008. Medicare encourages beneficiaries to review and compare their current coverage using enhanced online tools. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is reminding people with Medicare that, starting November 15th, they will be able to make changes in their health and prescription drug coverage for 2009. The Medicare annual coordinated election period for Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug plans runs from November 15 through December 31, 2008. “This year, because some beneficiaries will see changes in their plans’ costs and coverage, it’s important that people with Medicare take advantage of the enhanced tools we have available to review the coverage and costs of their health or drug plans for next year,” said CMS Acting Administrator Kerry Weems. “And beginning on November 15, beneficiaries can go to www.medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, with our without drug coverage, or a Medicare prescription drug plan. Those beneficiaries who are satisfied with their current plan do not need to do anything to remain in that plan in 2009.” For beneficiaries enrolling into Medicare Advantage (MA) plans only, they can make one change in enrollment -- enrolling in a new plan, changing plans or dis-enrolling from a plan -- between Jan. 1 and March 31, 2009. However, the Medicare Advantage open enrollment period cannot be used to start or stop Medicare drug coverage, or to enroll or dis-enroll in a Medicare Medical Savings Account Plan. List of Medicare Part D Counseling Schedules Bladen County - Bladen County Division on Aging 608 McCleod Street, Elizabethtown 910-862-6930 Brunswick County - Cooperative Extension Building N County Government Complex 25 Referrundum Drive, Bolivia Pearl Stanley 910-253-2610 Barbee Library – Oak Island Nov. 14 from 10 am–Noon Nov. 21 from 1-4 pm Dec. 5, 12, 19 & 26 from 10 am - Noon Hickman’s Crossroads Library Nov. 14 & 21 from 1–3 pm Dec. 5 & 19 from 9 am–Noon Leland Library Nov. 14 & 21 from 10 am–Noon Shallotte Library Nov. 14 from 10 am–Noon & 1–3 pm Dec. 5 & 12 from 10 am–Noon & 1–3 pm Southport Library Nov. 14 from 10 am–Noon Dec. 5 & 12 from 1–3 pm Columbus County - Cooperative Extension 45 Government Complex Road – Suite A, Whiteville 910-640-6607 - Tues. & Thurs. from 10 am – 2 pm Call Ann Pridgen for an appointment New Hanover County - RSVP 2222 South College Road, Wilmington 910-798-6400 - Walk-in Clinics are Tues. & Thurs. from 11 am – 2 pm Counseling available by appointment only on Wed. and Fri. from 9 am – 4 pm Onslow County - Onslow County Senior Services 4022 Richlands Highway, Jacksonville 910-455-2747 - Tuesdays from 9:30 – 11:30 am Pender County - Pender Adult Services 901 South Walker Street, Burgaw 910-259-9119 - Pender Adult Services Monday thru Thursday from 10 am – 3pm by appointment only – call 259-9119 Topsail Senior Center Mon., Wed., & Thurs. from 1 – 5 pm
Useful Medicare links and information:
www.medicare.gov
www.ncshiip.com
Or reach Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE

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