Medicare Changes Could Cost You

AMARILLO, TEXAS - Health care reform is prompting some big changes to medicare coverage, and local experts say not knowing the latest information could cost you or your relatives thousands of dollars.

Today enrollment opened up for the prescription drug coverage part of medicare.  Already there are a lot of questions about how these new changes will impact pocketbooks.

Amarillo Agency on Aging says the largest change they see is an increase in coverage for preventative screenings - but:

"There are a lot of changes that are going to cost people this year - that's the bad part," AAA Public Educator Lisa Hancock said.

The AAA says most of the premiums for prescription plans are going up, as well as deductibles for part A and B. And on Part D, the coverage for each individual medication could be changing depending on which plan you have.

Sometimes that price difference can be an astonishing amount. For example the web site Medicare.gov tells you how much you'd pay with each plan.  Take the medication nexium for example. Under the cheapest plan in Randall county, you'd pay about $800 a year at the pharmacy. The most expensive would cost you almost $3000.

AAA says you need to also make sure your doctors will accept that coverage.

If you'd like more information there are two main resources. First there's Medicare.gov. If you'd rather get answers from a human being, there will be a part- d enrollment event on Friday at the mariposa apartments in Amarillo. It's sponsored by the AAA.