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For the More than 500 Thousand Mississippians on Medicare, Open Enrollment Ends this Friday

By Lawayne Childrey | Published 03 Dec 2012 06:57pm | comments

Mississippian's with Medicare coverage have until the end of this week to shop for a new health and prescription drug provider. MPB's Lawayne Childrey reports on the rush to meet the Medicare open enrollment period.  

Mississippi seniors and those with disabilities have until this Friday to decide which Medicare program best suits their health and prescription needs.

While shopping at a CVS pharmacy in Jackson yesterday

"I got her medications today and didn’t have to pay a dime."

Beverly Williams said she helped her 90 year old grandmother change to a new Medicare plan a few days ago.

"I don't remember the plan she was on but she changed plans because it didn't offer her over the counter medicine like Tylenol and different things like that that she would take just for her pain where she didn't have to go into deep medication. But once she got on the program  it afforded her to be able to buy those over the counter medicines. Even for transportation, that was a problem for me transporting her back and forth to the doctor. But with that enrollment we were able to do that."

This year is unique for the more than 517 thousand Mississippian's who participate in the Medicare program because of the new Affordable Care Act. Carolyn Bouttee, is the Program administrator for the State Department of Human Services,  Division of Aging Adults.   She says the new healthcare legislation is especially beneficial for people with disabilities and chronic conditions.

"The law provides important benefits such as free preventive screenings, free annual wellness visits and a 50% discount on prescription drugs for Medicare recipients and the coverage gap known as the donut hole."

Because of the added savings Bouttee is encouraging all Mississippi seniors to look at their current plans closely.

"Open enrollment is the one time of year when all people with Medicare can see what new benefits are available through Medicare and what the changes are that they can look at."

Mississippian's who do not make changes to their current Medicare plan by this Friday must wait until open enrollment begins again next October.  Lawayne Childrey, MPB News.








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