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Friday deadline to change Medicare drug, health plans

Ray Walker, divisional director for the Medicare Assistance Program at the Oklahoma Insurance Department, reminds Medicare beneficiaries of the Dec. 7 open enrollment deadline to change their health plans.
by Paula Burkes Published: December 4, 2012

Q&A with Ray Walker

Medicare enrollment ends Friday

Q: I understand the deadline is close for Medicare recipients to change their drug or health plans. Can you tell us about it?

A: The Medicare Annual Enrollment period ends Friday. This is the last week for Medicare beneficiaries to review their prescription drug coverage to make sure the plan they are on is the best one for them. There could be another plan available that covers your medications at a lower cost, or perhaps your medications have changed and your new medication isn't on your current plan. We've assisted people this year who will be saving more than $10,000 next year by taking the time to contact us and review their coverage.

Q: Do recipients have to change plans?

A: No. Beneficiaries have the right to stay with their current plan if it's still going to be available in your area next year. If you want to stick with what you've got, you don't have to take any action. However, it's worth the time to review your current coverage in case you could save some money next year. This goes for anyone who is interested in Medicare Advantage plans, as well (HMOs, PPOs, etc.). Those prices change just like they do on prescription drug plans. So we can do a review of your current coverage compared to other plans that are available in your area.

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by Paula Burkes
A 1981 journalism graduate of Oklahoma State University, Paula Burkes has more than 30 years experience writing and editing award-winning material for newspapers and healthcare, educational and telecommunications institutions in Tulsa, Oklahoma...
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