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Medicare recipients facing plan deadlines

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Medicare beneficiaries in Hawaii have until year’s end to change prescription drug and health care plans for 2011.

There are about 200,000 seniors enrolled locally in Medicare, the government health insurance program for people 65 and older, according to AARP.

AARP is encouraging seniors to compare the costs of plans, which can fluctuate, as well as prescription drugs, which can be added or dropped from the list of drugs covered by the program.

AARP Hawaii recommends recipients consider the following when making decisions to change coverage:

» Costs, including monthly premiums, annual deductibles and cost sharing.

» Coverage for doctors and pharmacies included in the plan, prescription drugs and other services.

» Quality ratings — provided for most Medicare Advantage and Part D plans — are based on the quality of care and customer services each plan provides.

Research prescription drug and health plans at www.medicare.gov or use AARP’s drug savings tool at www.aarp.org/drugsavings, which allows users to select drugs they want to compare from Consumer Reports Health’s database.

For one-on-one counseling, go to www.hawaiiship.org or call 586-7299.

 

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