Medicare Open Enrollment 2013: What You Need to Know
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Medicare Open Enrollment 2013: What You Need to Know

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October 15, 2013

Medicare's annual Open Enrollment period starts Oct. 15 and ends Dec. 7.

This is the time of year when everyone with Medicare can join or change their health and prescription drug plans for 2014.

Depending on your needs, you can switch coverage from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan, or vice versa. You also can switch your Part D plan, which pays for medications. Any changes you make will take effect Jan. 1.

This is an important opportunity to make sure you’re getting the most from your Medicare benefits. Every year, Medicare plans change, and so do your needs. It's worth the time to shop around to see if your coverage is still the best for your situation.

New for 2013

This year's Open Enrollment coincides with two other events that may be confusing to people with Medicare:

  1. Federal Government Shutdown
    As of Oct. 15, the first day of Medicare Open Enrollment, the federal government was still shut down. As a result, it is not clear whether the Medicare.gov website is being updated with the latest plan information. NCOA advises that people with Medicare continue to shop and compare drug plans, but not purchase a plan until the government shutdown ends and all drug plan information is updated.

  2. Health Insurance Marketplace
    Oct. 1 was the first day people could enroll in the new Health Insurance Marketplace, created by the Affordable Care Act. Some older adults are unsure whether the marketplace is for them. The answer depends on your situation. Find out What the Health Insurance Marketplace Means for Seniors.

More Resources to Help 

Here are several other resources that can help during Medicare Open Enrollment.

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