November 10, 2010 by USA Post, Madison, WI-The disease open enrollment period begins November 15, 2010, and launched on December 31. Insurance Commissioner Sean Dilweg encourages seniors from Wisconsin to review the coverage of their Medicare Advantage plan for 2011 to see if it still meets their needs at a cost they can afford to pay. This is the time of year to make changes, if any.

“Every year, most Medicare Advantage plans change. They may begin to charge or increase their premiums, enter or exit the program, or change their formularies. Needs of Medicare beneficiaries of health care can also change, “said Dilweg.” Consumers should take the time to ensure that the coverage they receive in 2011 to meet its needs. ”

Consumers are now receiving information from insurers on the changes to Medicare Advantage plans for 2011, including changes in premiums and cost sharing. Consumers should carefully consider this information and determine whether to stay with their current plan for 2011 is best for them. During the open enrollment period of November 15, 2010, to December 31, 2010, consumers can sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan offered in their region. The federal government has a very useful site ( that will provide comprehensive information on Medicare Advantage plans available in a region. Consumers can subscribe to a plan’s website or contact the plan.

Medicare is the federal program that provides health insurance coverage for people 65 years or more and others who qualify for the program. There are several options for coverage under the Medicare program. Traditional fee for service Medicare, also known as foodborne illness, including Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical coverage – covers preventive care and outpatient care such as doctor visits ). The most recent additions to the program include Medicare Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage – offered by private insurance companies through a contract with health insurance) and Part D (drug coverage external prescription offered by private insurance companies through a contract with Medicare). Part C and Part D are not part of traditional fee for service Medicare, but are part of the Medicare program administered by the federal government.

Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D open enrollment is from November 15 to December 31, 2010. During each annual registration period seniors should review their current plan any changes for 2011. In addition, plans that have decided not to continue to provide coverage for the following year should have already notified the beneficiaries that the coverage of this plan will end on December 31, 2010, with options that beneficiaries must continue Medicare Advantage. Consumers cope with this situation have the option of switching to another Medicare Advantage plan or enroll in traditional Medicare in 2011. Consumers have been advised that their Medicare Advantage plan will be completed and who chose to go with Medicare have a window of 63 days to register a policy of insurance surcharge on a question of security or not core underwriting. Policies complement Medicare are insurance policies that provide coverage for most of the cost-share listed in Medicare. Consumers should also consider buying a Medicare Part D plan to obtain drug coverage comtinue outpatient prescription. These plans can be viewed on the website at Medicare and have the same open enrollment period as Medicare Advantage plans.

When considering a change in the coverage of health insurance, it is very important to assess the cost-sharing provisions of any new plan. Medicare Advantage plans have different deductibles and co-payments and these differences may be very important. In general, the higher cost sharing, lower the premium charged by the plan. However, if you get sick, spending most out of their pocket you will incur.

New regulations issued by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services in 2008 were designed to protect recipients of marketing tactics and sales pitches or high pressure by private insurance companies and their agents during the Medicare Advantage and prescription drug open enrollment period. The regulation prohibits unsolicited telemarketing and other business contacts. Although Medicare Advantage plans are regulated by the federal government, the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance is still governed by insurance agents who sell these products and their actions.

There are a number of places that older people can visit for more information about Medicare, their options and assistance. Governor Jim Doyle created the Office of Health Reform ( to help Wisconsin residents with information about the changes under the CHP. OCI has a number of resources for seniors. Publications including Medicare Part D – Things to know before signing Up, Medicare Advantage Plans in Wisconsin, Medicare supplement insurance policies approved, and Wisconsin Guide to Health Insurance for people with the ‘insurance are all available on the OCI website. Seniors can also visit the website at Medicare information on this important subject.

If you or someone in your family is a beneficiary of insurance and you have questions about the activities of agents or wish to complain about an agent, the OCI contact 1-800-236-8517. Further information and complaint forms are also available on OCI’s Web site:

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