Medicare Open Enrollment began October 15 and closes December 7. If you have Medicare, now is the time to review your coverage and understand your options.


December 7th is the deadline.  The Open Enrollment Period is the only time all year when everyone with Medicare can change coverage. You can move between Medicare Advantage and Original Medicare, and change prescription drug plans. December 7th is the Medicare deadline. Don’t confuse this with the deadline for the Affordable Care Act’s Marketplace enrollment (December 15th).


Eligible for “Extra Help?”  If you’re having trouble paying your Medicare bills, you may be eligible for “Extra Help,”   also known as the Low Income Subsidy (LIS). Extra Help can help lower your co-pays and premiums and provide big savings for prescription drugs. Income limits for 2015 are $17,650 for one person and $23,895 for a married couple. Asset limits are $13,640 for one person and $27,250 for a couple. Your home, car, or life insurance do not count. Extra Help applications can be filed year-round. More information and online applications for the program are available here .


Get Counseling. Free counseling is available through Florida’s State Health Insurance Programs (SHIPs) which is located here . Also, the Medicare Plan Finder  is an available resource for those who want to explore their plan choices. You can also call the Medicare Rights Center National Helpline at 1-800-333-4114.