Friday, October 14, 2011

Medicare Annual Open Enrollment Begins Early

This year, CMS has announced an early launch for Open Enrollment, which will begin October 15th, instead of the usual date of November 15th. The enrollment will end on December 7th. CMS made this change under hopes that it would improve the enrollment process for Medicare beneficiaries, according to the official press release.

This gives people with Medicare a full seven weeks to compare and make decisions, and ensures that they will have essential plan materials and membership cards in hand on January 1, 2012 when new coverage starts.
In the press release, CMS also made efforts to stress the importance of investigating and exploring plan options.

There'll be a wide range of health and drug plan options available across the country, including Original Medicare. Most people with Medicare can choose a "Part D" plan to help them pay for prescription drugs. And people who have chosen to enroll in a "Part C" Medicare Advantage plan for their basic health care services have the option of staying in that plan, choosing a different plan, or going back to the Original Medicare program. Plans can change from year to year, so these are important choices that should be made with care.

As usual, the organization is making a big push to promote information sources such as 1-800-MEDICARE and We saw many efforts being made around this time last year to promote those educational channels, and it is certainly good to see them remaining a large part of CMS’s enrollment initiative.

Pam Argeris is a thought leader in the Healthcare Industry and possesses extensive, hands-on experience with CMS compliance, and multiple regulatory bodies such as NCQA, JACHO, and DOI. In her role at Merrill Corp., Pam focuses on developing solutions for compliance and quality assurance, delivered in a cost effective manner to improve beneficiary and prospect communications. You can contact Pam at

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