Medicare beneficiaries: you still have time to change your Medicare plans for 2010. The annual Medicare Open Enrollment period, which lasts from November 15 to December 31, will still be open for another month, ensuring that you have plenty of time to review your Medicare options and make any necessary adjustments you need.
What is Open Enrollment?
Open Enrollment is an annual period of time during which Medicare beneficiaries can make changes to their Medicare plans. Medicare beneficiaries can only adjust their Medicare plans during the Open Enrollment period. Any adjustments that they make will be applied to their Medicare plans during the upcoming year (2010). If Medicare beneficiaries wish to make changes to their plans at any other time throughout the year, they will need to wait until the Open Enrollment period to make those changes.
Why should I review my Medicare options during Open Enrollment?
It is important for Medicare beneficiaries to keep a close eye on changes to their Medicare options. Especially this year, there have been widespread changes to their healthcare system as a whole. Within the Medicare program alone, many Medicare options have been eliminated or adjusted. Additionally, there are more Medicare options that have been added to your menu of choices. These options were not available last year when you made any changes during Open Enrollment.
Reviewing your Medicare program annually helps to ensure that your Medicare options are the best available for your unique needs. Remember that your needs may change as you age or as different things happen in your life. For example, you may not have needed coverage for at-home nursing care last year, but you may need it now. Therefore, it is important to review your options regularly.
With all of the changes, many Medicare beneficiaries are switching to a Medicare Advantage plan or adding Medicare Supplement insurance to their plans in order to ensure that no matter what happens in the healthcare system in the coming years, they are covered. The best way to ensure that you have the right Medigap plans for your needs is to review your plan with an experienced Medicare advisor, especially as Open Enrollment comes to a close.
Contact a Medicare specialist for more information about which plans may help to protect you and your loved ones, especially if the expected changes take place. For help finding the best Medigap Insurance or Medicare Advantage plan for your situation, contact Medigap Advisors at 866-323-1441.

Wiley Long is founder and president of Medigap Advisors, and is passionate about helping people navigate the confusing waters of Medicare. He is the author of The Medicare Playbook: Designing Your Successful Health Coverage Strategy, a clear and simple explanation so you can make the most of your Medicare coverage.