Medicare open enrollment begins Monday - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Medicare open enrollment begins Monday

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(KFVS) -

Medicare open enrollment begins Monday for senior choosing their 2013 Medicare plans.

This year, there will be 127 four- and five-star plans offered. This is up from 106 such plans offered last year.

There will also be an increase in four- and five-star prescription plans this year with 26 plans offered in 2013 as opposed to 13 in 2012.

The open enrollment period ends Dec. 7.

Seniors can use the star ratings system to guide through choosing their health and drug plan. Five stars is the highest rating.

Medicare can alert seniors who have been enrolled in the lower-quality plans (three starts or fewer) and let them know they can change to a higher-rated plan.

The Medicare prescription drug coverage gap or donut hole is being phased out.  In 2013, those with Medicare who reach the donut hole will receive about 53 percent off the cost of brand-name drugs and 21 percent off the cost of generic drugs.

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