Medicare open enrollment to begin soon

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Medicare's annual open enrollment period will span from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7.

According to the St. Johns County Council on Aging (COA), this is the only time most people will be allowed to change the Part D drug plan or the Medicare Advantage plan. Currently for 2017, St Johns County has 20 "stand alone" drug plans that work with Original Medicare. The premiums range from $18 to $174 per month with an average of $66. There are 10 Medicare Advantage plans that include drug coverage (four HMOs and six PPOs). According to COA, there should be more clarity around Oct. 1 concerning the details of the 2018 plans.

If you currently have a Part D drug plan, the COA says you should receive three booklets regarding your plan: a notice of changes, a formulary and an evidence of coverage. These will explain your 2018 plan. If you would like to explore other choices, COA's Prescription Assistance Program can help. Dick Wallis is available each Tuesday from 9:00 a.m. to noon in the Partner's Office at River House, 179 Marine St. in St. Augustine. Call 904-209-3655 for an appointment. 

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