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2022 Medicare Guide: The Times helps get you ready for enrollment

The Medicare enrollment period has started. Time to look for the plans that best fit your health and financial needs.
January 3, 2020, Wellington, Florida, USA: Joel Lieberman, Wellington, is frustrated with the Medicare.gov website. His prescription drug plan prices vary during the year. (Credit Image: © Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post via ZUMA Wire)
January 3, 2020, Wellington, Florida, USA: Joel Lieberman, Wellington, is frustrated with the Medicare.gov website. His prescription drug plan prices vary during the year. (Credit Image: © Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post via ZUMA Wire) [ ALLEN EYESTONE | ZUMAPRESS.com ]
Published Oct. 15

Seniors have spent the past two years thinking and working hard to protect their health in the era of COVID-19. They have worn masks, practiced social distancing, gotten vaccinated and weighed the risks of gathering with family and friends as COVID-19 has spread and kept spreading.

Now they can do something else to maintain their health: Pick the Medicare and prescription coverage plan that’s best for them in 2022.

There are an estimated 4.8 million Floridians already enrolled in Medicare, and now everyone 65 and older can start re-evaluating their plans. If they’re dissatisfied, they have until Dec. 7 to switch to a plan that’s a better fit for their health and financial needs.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released the 2022 premiums, deductibles and other key information for Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans in late September. But it takes time and effort to do some comparison shopping and weigh the complications of each option.

That’s why every year the Tampa Bay Times produces a guide to help seniors navigate the complicated world of Medicare and get the best deal they can.

Everything you need to know is just a click away:

HOW MEDICARE WORKS: Here’s what seniors need to know about open enrollment, how Medicare works and how to find the best coverage for 2022.

COMPARE MEDICARE PLANS: The Times has assembled a chart to help Tampa Bay residents shop for the best 2022 coverage in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando counties.

COMPARE PRESCRIPTION PLANS: This chart shows the plans available in Florida under Medicare’s Part D program for prescription drugs.

HOW TO STAY SAFE FROM COVID-19: While Florida’s seniors are the most widely vaccinated age group in the state, they still are the most threatened by COVID-19. Here’s the latest advice on staying safe, why seniors must get vaccinated and why they also should get their annual flu shot.

MANAGE YOUR COSTS: NerdWallet offers four ways retirees can manage their health care costs.

THE PLAN FINDER is another good way to compare coverage. It’s an online tool provided by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to help consumers compare and shop.

FINDING HELP: Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders, or SHINE, is a state program that connects with seniors online or by phone to help them navigate the Medicare benefits. Call 1-800-963-5337 or visit floridashine.org.

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Tampa Bay Times 2022 Medicare Guide

Everything Florida seniors need to know to get ready for Medicare enrollment is available at tampabay.com/medicare.