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    Shopping For A Medicare Advantage Plan

    During open enrollment, use Medicare’s Plan Finder to compare premiums, co-payments and other cost information for plans in your area.

    Now that open enrollment for Medicare has started, how can I find out if I can get a better deal on a Medicare Advantage plan?

    Open enrollment for 2014 Medicare Advantage plans (which cover both medical and drug costs) and Part D prescription-drug plans runs from October 15 to December 7, and you can find out about all of the plans in your area by using the Medicare.gov Plan Finder tool. Even if your plan’s premiums have remained about the same, it’s important to look at the co-payments for medical care and your prescription drugs, the plan’s maximum out-of-pocket costs, its provider and pharmacy networks, and any extra coverage.

    Go to the Medicare.gov Plan Finder, type in your zip code and the type of plan you have now (Medicare Advantage plans are called “Medicare Health Plans” in the tool), enter your drugs and dosages, and select up to two nearby pharmacies.

    You’ll see how all of the Medicare Advantage plans in your area compare with your current plan. Look at the monthly premium (which doesn’t include the charge for Medicare Part B ), but also focus on the “estimated annual health and drug costs” column, which adds up the…

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