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Medicare enrollment features new rating system for health plans

By Lynn Hatter

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wfsu/local-wfsu-990081.mp3

Tallahassee, FL – The enrollment period for Medicare starts early this year. Beginning this weekend, 3.2 million Floridians will have a chance to decide whether to keep their current Medicare plans or switch to a new one. Medicare is the federally funded health coverage provided to people 65 and older. And Lynn Hatter reports there are some new things in the program this year.

One of the biggest changes Medicare seniors will see is a new star-rating system on most of the Medicare plans offered. That includes prescription drug-only plans, called Medicare part D, and combination plans, called Medicare Advantage. Michael Leavitt served as Secretary for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services between 2005 and 2009.

"The goal of all of this is to make Medicare responsive to consumers. If the plan isn't satisfying a consumers need, they need a chance to change. And this is the window when they can make that change."

Open enrollment begins October 15 and goes until December 7th. More information can be found at 1-800-Medicare, or online at Medicare.gov