Wednesday is the last day that the Senior Center will be taking appointments to help Seniors with Part D. The Senior Center still has a few openings for Wednesday, November 30th and eligible persons can call the Center at 563.5304 for an appointment. Part D enrollment ends on December 7th.
Fall is the time for Medicare beneficiaries to explore their options regarding Part D prescription drug and Part C Medicare Advantage plans. In years past, the annual enrollment period began in mid-November and lasted to the end of the year, with any changes or choices made effective January 1st.
Starting this year, that time period wasmoved up. This year the Annual Coordinated Election Period (ACEP) for Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans began on October 15th and ends on December 7th. This means that Medicare beneficiaries will have to analyze their options and make choices earlier than in previous years.
During the ACEP, often referred to as "open enrollment," Medicare beneficiaries who do not have a Part D plan can enroll in one, and those who do have Part D coverage can change plans. Beneficiaries can also return to traditional Medicare from a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan, enroll in an MA plan, or change MA plans.
Beneficiaries who are satisfied with their plan in 2011 still need to review their plan options for 2012. Part D and MA plans may have made changes to their coverage, provider networks and other plan features. Starting October 1, 2011, plan information for 2012 will be available on the Medicare Plan Finder at www.medicare.gov. Medicare Advantage and Part D plan sponsors were allowed to start marketing their plans on October 1st.
It is likely that many beneficiaries will miss the new December 7th deadline for making any plan changes. CMS says it is conducting outreach about the earlier deadline and that it will monitor the issue of beneficiaries who miss the deadline. However, as of the date of this Alert, CMS has no public plans to allow a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for individuals who miss the December 7th deadline. Therefore it is critical that beneficiaries be informed of this change in dates.
Cannon County Senior Center will be offering appointments for Wednesday, November 30th for seniors to look or choose a Part D Plan. Please call 615-563-5304 for an appointment.