Deadline to sign up for Medicare plans nears

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield offers several free Medicare seminars before the annual Medicare enrollment period ends on Dec. 31.

A seminar is scheduled at the Y center Skaneateles 10 a..m. and 1:30 p.m. Dec. 8.

Go to excellusmedicare.com for a full list of upcoming seminars. The seminars will detail Medicare options, including Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare prescription drug plans (known as Medicare Part D).

Medicare Advantage plans give people additional benefits to enhance the coverage provided

by Medicare Part A (hospital coverage) and Medicare Part B (physician and medical coverage). Medicare Part D can be offered with a Medicare Advantage plan, or as a standalone plan.

Medicare's annual enrollment period started Nov. 15 and ends Dec. 31. This is the time of year when Medicare-eligible individuals can enroll in or switch Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans for coverage effective Jan. 1. People who are happy with their current plans don't have to do anything.

Once you've selected a seminar, registration is required. To register for a Medicare seminar, go to excellusmedicare.com or call (800) 671-6042.

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