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You Can Still Change Your Medicare Plan

December 21, 2009

  • Between January 1 and March 31, you can make one change in your Medicare health plan.  If you have Original Medicare, you can join a Medicare Advantage Plan (such as a Medicare HMO, Medicare PPO, or Medicare PFFS) or switch between Medicare Advantage Plans.  If you are in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can return to Original Medicare.


You cannot add or drop prescription drug coverage during this period.


After March 31, most of you will not be able to make any changes until the next Medicare Open Enrollment Period (November 15 - December 31, 2010), effective January 2011.  However, if you have a special situation, like you first become eligible for Medicare, or you lose your current health insurance, then you do not have to wait.


  • If you are a member of Prescription Advantage, you have one extra chance to change your Medicare prescription drug plan at any time during the year.


Prescription Advantage, the state pharmaceutical assistance program, will continue to help with the costs of Part D plans, but there are changes for 2010.  You should already have received letters from Prescription Advantage about these changes.


In 2010, Prescription Advantage will not help with the cost of your premiums, but will still help with the cost of your drugs if you get into the “donut hole”.


  • If you have MassHealth or if you qualify for “Extra Help” with your drugs, you can change your Medicare prescription drug plan at any time during the year. 


If you need help on any aspect of your health insurance, SHINE offers free counseling at your local Senior Center or Council on Aging.  Call your Senior Center or COA and ask for a SHINE appointment.  You can reach a SHINE volunteer by phone at 1-800-AGE-INFO (1-800-243-4636)  If you get the SHINE voice mail, leave your  name and phone number and a counselor will call you back as soon as possible.


SHINE (Serving the Health Information Needs of Elders), is coordinated by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs in partnership with the Friends of the Milford Senior Center, The Massachusetts Councils on Aging, and other local agencies


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ESWA Staff visit the Statehouse, February 2009



United Way of North Central MA