Medicare Enrollment Made Easy

Starting October 15, here’s what you should do to get your perfect coverage.

Ready to save money and get a Medicare plan custom-tailored to your health needs? Grab a red pen and circle October 15, 2012 on your calendar. That’s the opening day of Medicare’s six-week Annual Election Period — your golden opportunity to make changes in your Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage and/or your Medicare Advantage plan.

During this open enrollment period, which ends on Friday, December 7, 2012, you’re free to make important health-insurance switches that become effective on January 1, 2013. You can:

• Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan to Original Medicare—or go from original Medicare to an Advantage plan
• Swap one Medicare Advantage Plan for another one
• Go from a Medicare Advantage Plan without drug coverage to one with drug coverage or vice-versa
• Switch, join for the first time, or drop a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.

Even if you don’t expect to change your insurance coverage, reviewing your current coverage now is nothing short of brilliant. “Open enrollment is a fantastic opportunity,” says Adrienne Muralidharan, senior Medicare specialist for the Allsup Medicare Advisor, a private, fee-based plan-selection service that helps Medicare beneficiaries choose plans. “Choosing the best plans for you could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year.”

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest