Medicare beneficiaries can make new choices and pick plans that work best for them during the annual Medicare Open Enrollment Period. Each year, Medicare plan costs and coverage typically change. In addition, your health-care needs may have changed over the past year. The Open Enrollment Period — which begins on October 15 and runs through December 7 — is your opportunity to switch your current Medicare health and prescription drug plans to ones that better suit your needs.
Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans are an alternative to Original Medicare, offered by private companies that contract with Medicare to provide Part A hospital insurance and Part B medical insurance benefits, and often include prescription drug coverage and extra benefits. Competitive bidding and changes in Medicare payments to these plans have led to improved benefits and a large increase in the percentage of beneficiaries who choose the private option.