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Annual Medicare Drug Enrollment Begins

By Kelley Weiss

Kansas City – Starting today people enrolled in the Medicare prescription drug program can make changes to their benefits. This is the first chance Kansas Citians have to update their plans since the Medicare Part D program launched last year. KCUR's Kelley Weiss reports.

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Kansas City residents using a Medicare prescription drug program can enroll in a new plan until December 31. Natalie Myers is a health insurance specialist for the Kansas City area Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. She says people are not required to make any changes to their drug plans but with more options this year they could save money or get coverage for prescriptions previously not paid for.

Natalie Myers: "Last year we had 41 plans available to people in Missouri and Kansas and this year we have 53 plans available. Bottom line is that there is more coverage available to beneficiaries at a lower cost."

Myers says local volunteers are standing by to help people sift through the many plans or beneficiaries can call state insurance agencies to ask questions. Changes to plans can be made through the national Medicare Web site or by calling the help hotline.

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Medicare Drug Plan Information:

National Medicare Help Hotline: 1-800-Medicare, available 24 hours/7 days a week

Medicare Web site

Senior Health Insurance Counseling For Kansas

Missouri CLAIM Program

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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