Health | Local | Vital Signs

Medicare Prescription Plans Changes Available

OPB | Oct. 15, 2012 6 a.m. | Updated: June 7, 2013 10:22 a.m. | Portland

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The window opens Monday for hundreds of thousands of Oregonians to change their Medicare prescription plans.

Changes to Medicare Advantage, or prescription drug plan Part D, must be made between now and the end of the year.

Lisa Emerson, with the state’s Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance Program, says people will be able to save hundreds of dollars by comparing plans.

“The costs of insurance change year to year and so when the private companies contract with Medicare they do sometimes change the benefits in terms of premiums, co-pays, co-insurance and what they cover. And so every year things could change and that’s why it’s important to take a look,” Emerson says.

Those who want to change their plans should find their insurance cards, get a list of their prescriptions, then use the Medicare.gov website to see which plan gives them the best deal.

Emerson recommends people contact their doctor or hospital beforehand, to make sure they’re willing to work with the new plan.

Oregon has more than 650,000 Medicare beneficiaries. Up to half can make a change if they want.

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