A recent announcement from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) indicated that, on average, Medicare Advantage premiums will be 1 percent lower next year. Plus the CMS expects that enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans will increase by 5 percent. 鈥淭 hese predictions are just further proof that many Americans find that the Medicare Advantage plan options are the right choice for them,鈥?suggests Alan Weinstock, insurance broker, at www.MedicareSupplementPlans.com. 鈥 淏 ut whether Medicare beneficiaries choose a Medicare Advantage plan or go with original Medicare and add a Medicare supplement plan, it 鈥檚 important that they take time to compare the benefits of each based on their own personal needs.鈥? Medicare Benefits for 2011 The good news is that the CMS said that the majority of Medicare beneficiaries will see little or no change in their 2011 benefits. In addition, there will be more drug plans offering coverage during the donut hole, that period in prescription drug coverage when there is a gap in coverage. And, consistent with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), beneficiaries in most Medicare Advantage plans and original Medicare will gain access to preventive benefits with no out of pocket costs. The CMS further indicated that nearly the same percentage of Medicare beneficiaries with current access to Medicare Advantage plans will continue to have access in 2011. That number is 99.7 percent. And all Medicare beneficiaries will continue to have many prescription drug plans to choose from. Medicare Resources for Seniors It 鈥檚 important that all Medicare beneficiaries, especially those who are new to the program, get the information they need to make the right decisions about the type of coverage they want: Medicare Advantage or original Medicare with a Medigap plan. One way to do this is to read the Welcome to Medicare brochure put out by the CMS. This booklet explains which health care services and supplies Medicare covers and how to get those benefits through regular Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance). In addition, Medicare and You 2011, the official Medicare handbook from the CMS, is due out in mid-October. Seniors may also want to reach out to service organizations for assistance. Medicare beneficiaries who have questions about Medicare Advantage, original Medicare or how changes from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) might affect them, should consider contacting their state Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP), a free statewide health insurance counseling service for Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers. And for Medicare beneficiaries who are considering Medigap insurance to help supplement their Medicare coverage, speaking to a reliable insurance broker like the brokers at http://www.MedicareSupplementPlans.com can be very helpful. Wherever you turn for information, be sure to be proactive and investigate your options before you turn 65. Sophie Ben is an expert author and has more then 5 years of experience in writing Technical articles like Medicare Insurance , Medicare Supplemental Comparison, Medigap Insurance California, Medicare Plans .
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