Patt Morrison for December 6, 2011

Medicare news you can use


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The longest serving member of the House of Representatives, Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), participates in a news conference about Medicare at the U.S. Captiol September 30, 2009 in Washington, DC.

Seniors who want to join Medicare or change their plan for 2012 have an important deadline this week. Those who qualify for Medicare benefits will need to opt in or make any changes to their plan for 2012 by 12:01am Thursday, when open enrollment ends.

Seniors who are already enrolled and wish to remain in their current plan don’t have to take any action, but there are significant changes to some existing plans. If the rules seem like a moving target, it’s because the open enrollment for 2012 began and ends earlier than previous years as the Medicare officials hope to have Medicare processing completed by January 1, 2012. Help is available at 1-800-MEDICARE or 1-800-434-0222 or online at


Is Medicare working for you? How do seniors keep up with the new plans and options?


Judy Dugan, Research Director, Consumer Watchdog

Elaine Wong-Eakin, executive director, California Health Advocates, a non profit Medicare advocacy and education organization

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