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Open Enrollment for Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage Ends Earlier this Year

By National Council on Aging

Don't Delay—Shop Around and Make Any Changes by December 7;  Free Resources from NCOA Can Help

WASHINGTON, Nov. 29, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- One week from tomorrow, December 7, marks the end of the Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage annual Open Enrollment period, which started on October 15. During this time, people with Medicare can select or change their Medicare Part D prescription drug plan or change the way they get their Medicare coverage for 2012.

Most of those who miss the December 7 deadline will have to wait until next year's annual Open Enrollment period—October 15-December 7, 2012—to make any changes to their Medicare coverage for 2013. That means they could end up spending more in 2012 than if they review their options and make necessary changes now. The new dates were part of the recently passed Affordable Care Act, or health care reform.

"Plans change from year to year. It's important for people with Medicare to act now—review their current coverage, shop their plan options, and make any changes by December 7," said Nora Dowd Eisenhower, vice president, Benefits Access Group, and director of the National Center for Benefits Outreach and Enrollment. "This way, they will be in a plan come January 1, and for the rest of 2012, that best meets their individual financial and health needs."

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Y0064_H3327_THPSMK_2060 Approved
Touchstone Health HMO, Inc. is a Medicare-approved Health Maintenance Organization with a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug contract with the federal government and a contract with the New York State Medicaid program. The plan is available to anyone enrolled in Part A and Part B through age or disability and who continues to pay their Medicare Part B premium. Copayment, service area, and benefit limitations apply. Members must use contracted providers to receive plan benefits, except in an emergency, urgent care, and for out-of-area dialysis. The Touchstone Health Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug plans are Total, Prestige, Power, Clear and Freedom. Enrollment in Touchstone Health depends on contract renewal.