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Window for Medicare Open Enrollment Closes Soon

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PHOTO: Open enrollment for Medicare closes December 7.
PHOTO: Open enrollment for Medicare closes December 7.
November 29, 2012

LEXINGTON, Ky. - A week from Friday (Dec. 7), is the deadline for enrolling or switching Medicare plans. Those who help seniors and persons with disabilities wade through their options say they are fielding plenty of questions.

Angela Zeek is on the front-line when it comes to helping people compare their Medicare options. She is a paralegal with Legal Aid of the Bluegrass.

"These plans change, the premiums change, deductibles change, the formularies change. It's a hard concept to understand if you've been on Medicare for awhile."

Zeek says most of the calls are about Medicare Advantage Plans. Most, but not all of those plans, offer both health care and prescription drug benefits, she explains.

"These plans have become popular over the last few years because they may offer some additional benefits that people would not receive under original Medicare."

Zeek says inquiries about the various plans increased after Medicare sent out thousands of letters saying certain plans were rated as low-performers. There's also Medicare Part D, which offers stand-alone drug benefits.

More than 40 million people with Medicare, including 63 percent of Kentucky's seniors, use Part D coverage. Zeek says it has helped "improve the quality of life" for many seniors by increasing their access to the medications they need.

Greg Stotelmyer , Public News Service - KY