Medicare Open Enrollment Starts, Ends Earlier This Year

Medicare Open Enrollment Starts, Ends Earlier This Year

Alert to Medicare beneficiaries: The enrollment period starts and ends earlier this year! From Oct. 15 through Dec. 7 you have the opportunity to look at your Medicare coverage, examine any new options, and decide if you want to make changes in your coverage. The enrollment period has been adjusted to allow the government more time to process the changes, and ensure recipients have their new membership cards in hand by Jan. 1, 2012.

If you don't act by Dec. 7, you won't be able to make any changes until the enrollment period rolls around again in 2012.  And for those who want to switch Medicare Advantage (C) plans, you'll will have between Jan. 1 and Feb. 14 to disenroll - but will only be able to go back to traditional Medicare.

A recent survey showed that 33% of Medicare recipients are not aware of the new enrollment period. If you have a parent or other loved one on Medicare, you'll want to remind them of these dates.

Comparing Medicare plans can be overwhelming.  In Florida, for example, there are 33 Prescription Drug Plans available. Fortunately, there are many online resources to help you compare plans. Here are a few:

http://www.medicare.gov/default.aspx

https://www.cms.gov/center/openenrollment.asp

http://floridamedicareguide.org/2011/florida-medicare-plans/

http://floridashine.org./medicare.html

Good luck!

Attorney Joseph S. Karp is a Florida Bar Certified and Nationally Certified Elder Law Attorney focusing on Elder Law, Probate, Estate Planning, Asset Protection, Special Needs Planning and Estate Litigation. He is AV rated by Martindale Hubbell. Mr. Karp is the founder of The Karp Law Firm, a South Florida law firm with offices in Palm Beach Gardens, Boynton Beach and St. Lucie, Florida.  Mr. Karp was named a 2011 SuperLawyer by SuperLawyer Magazine and a member of the 2011 Florida Legal Elite by Florida Trend Magazine. He is admitted to practice law in New York as well as Florida. Visit Mr. Karp's Florida Elder Law and Estate Planning website. 

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