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Medicare open enrollment is here

Medicare’s annual open enrollment period started Oct. 15 and ends Dec. 7. The open enrollment period is the time for all to review current coverage and decide if there are better coverage options based on changes to the current plans, your budget and health needs.

During Medicare open enrollment, people can decide to stay with their original Medicare coverage or join a Medicare Advantage Plan. The open enrollment period gives everyone with Medicare the opportunity to make changes to their Medicare health plans or prescription drug plans for coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2019.

Think about what matters most and be open to options, like Medicare Advantage plans from private insurers.

Get started on has new tools that can help you review your options.

If you have questions about what type of coverage is right for you, the following tools may help:

• Compare coverage options tool: Asks you five simple questions to see if original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Plan meets your needs.

• Estimate Medicare costs tool: An out-of-pocket cost calculator that will provide information on both overall costs and prescription drug costs.

• Plan finder tool: Lets you compare plans to see the exact costs for plans in your area based on the prescription drugs you take and the pharmacy you use. If you are open to your coverage options, you may find a plan that costs less, covers your drugs and offers extra benefits like vision and dental coverage. Try the web chat feature to help guide you through the process.

Medicare Open Enrollment ends Dec. 7. Now is the time to act if you want to enroll in or make changes to your Medicare health or prescription drug plan for coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2019. If you find your current coverage still meets your needs, then you don’t have to do anything. Medicare health and drug plans change each year, and so can your health needs. Think about your health status and determine if you need to make a change. Remember, if you miss the Dec. 7 deadline, you will likely have to wait a full year before you are able to make changes to your Medicare coverage.

More information about Medicare is also available on the Medicare Facebook page and by following @MedicareGov on Twitter.

Get CMS news at, sign up for CMS news via email and follow CMS on Twitter.

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