Amid heightened public concern, the cost of prescription drugs is the focus of renewed attention by the Trump administration, the Biden campaign and lawmakers in Congress and state capitals. Proposed actions range from sweeping health care system changes to targeted initiatives that could affect Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance. See KFF’s research, analysis and public opinion data, as well as Kaiser Health News’ journalism, related to prescription drugs and their costs.

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When Is the Open Enrollment period for Medicare?

The Medicare Open Enrollment period runs from October 15 through December 7 each year. During this period, people on Medicare have the opportunity to make a change in their coverage. If you are covered by Medicare, and you are interested in reviewing and comparing your Medicare coverage options, make sure…

I have Medicare Part A and Part B. I’ve heard about Part C and Part D, but I don’t know what those are. Do I need to sign up for those during the Medicare Open Enrollment period?

Medicare Part C plans, also known as Medicare Advantage plans, are private health insurance plans, mainly HMOs and PPOs, for people enrolled in Medicare. If you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, you still have Medicare, but you get all of your Medicare-covered benefits through a private plan. Most Medicare…

I live alone without family or close friends nearby, and I don’t have a computer. Where can I get help learning about the Medicare drug plans and Medicare Advantage plans in my area?

You can learn about your coverage options by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), or by speaking with someone at your local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). SHIPs offer local, personalized counseling and assistance to people with Medicare and their families. You can call 877-839-2675 to get the phone number for the…

Can I change my Medicare coverage outside of the Medicare Open Enrollment period?

You can, but generally only under special circumstances that qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). These circumstances include (but are not limited to) moving to a new location that is outside of your current plan’s service area or where additional plan options are available, moving back into the…

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