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Medicare beneficiaries can enroll in Medicare D plans when they begin receiving Medicare, during individual special enrollment periods related to life changes, and during annual open enrollment between Nov. 15th and Dec. 31st each year. Private companies set their own premiums, deductibles, list of drugs covered, and co-payments. People can enroll in the plan they choose by using the Medicare website, calling a plan directly, or calling 1-800-Medicare.

Medicare recipients who have limited income and assets may be eligible for help in paying for a Medicare D plan. Applications (form SSA-1020B) to apply for help are available from Social Security (1-800-772-1213), and online from www.socialsecurity.gov.

For additional information, you can also go to www.mymedicarematters.org.

For online information, fact sheets, and help in finding the Medicare D plan that best meets your prescription needs, go to www.medicare.gov ,www.cms.hhs.gov/center/partner.asp, or www.cms.hhs.gov .

For local assistance, please contact staff from Senior Services and Community Transit, Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) at 410-996-5295.