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Medicare Plan D gets more confusing

Helen Palmer Dec 28, 2006
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Medicare Plan D gets more confusing

Helen Palmer Dec 28, 2006
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TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: Seniors have just four days to change or reenroll in their Medicare Drug plan. That government subsidy is just a year old and it’s been tricky for a lot of people. There’s a new glitch to worry about. Helen Palmer reports from our Health Desk at WGBH.


HELEN PALMER: Private health insurers offering Medicare drug plans can change the premiums and what medications they cover once a year.

If they alter the plans, they have to send enrollees an official “Notice of Change” by October 31, but that didn’t always happen this year.

JEFF NELLIGAN: Some beneficiaries were not notified of changes in their plans in a timely fashion.

Medicare official Jeff Nelligan says he’s still trying to find out how widespread the problem is.

United Health Group provides drug coverage to 4.5 million seniors. Some 200,000 of them got belated notices due to mistakes in the first version printed.

The Medicare Rights Center’s Deene Beebe says even seniors who got the notices didn’t always understand them.

DEENE BEEBE: At times people really didn’t know what the letter was all about.

Medicare’s Jeff Nelligan says any senior who got a notice late will have ’til February 14 to change plans.

In Boston, I’m Helen Palmer for Marketplace.

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