Medicare drug benefit revisited

If you enrolled in Medicare Part D, the Drug Benefit plan, for 2006 and thought you were all set, think again. Open enrollment for 2007 runs from Nov. 15 through Dec. 31, 2006. Although you can stay in your current plan without  going  through  the  enrollment  process  again,  you  are strongly advised to review your coverage. Most plans will be changing their costs, coverages, deductibles and copays for next year and a different plan may be more cost-effective. You can also expect to find new companies in the game – in Illinois the number of plans increase from 42 in 2006 to 56 in 2007. There is no penalty for switching plans during this enrollment window.

If you are currently enrolled you should have received a letter from your carrier detailing any changes. Read this letter carefully.

Your next step should be to collect all of the information for the prescrip­tion drugs you take regularly – drug name, dosage, how often you take them and whether they are generic or not. You should then go to the Medicare website,, and enter this information. You will be provided a list of carriers and how much you can expect to pay. For more user-friendly step-by-step instructions visit the AARP web site