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Open enrollment period under way for Medicare

PIERRE -- The open enrollment period for Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plans is Oct. 15-Dec. 7.

"One of the things we want people to know is that if they have a Medicare Advantage plan the only time they can make changes to their plans is Oct. 15-Dec. 7, 2012," said Kim Malsam-Rysdon, secretary for the South Dakota Department of Social Services. "All Medicare recipients should take this time to review their current plans."

Medicare Advantage is a health plan offered by a private company that contracts with Medicare to provide Part A and Part B coverage (hospital, skilled nursing, home health, hospice, doctors' care and other outpatient services).

Medicare Part D offers prescription drug coverage for all people with Medicare; the drug coverage includes both brand name and generic drugs.