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Millions of seniors may face Medicare plan switch

The Boston Globe/AP, August 26, 2010

More than 3 million seniors may have to switch their Medicare prescription plan next year, even if they are perfectly happy with it, because of an attempt by the government to simplify their lives.The policy change could turn into a hassle for seniors who had not intended to switch plans during Medicare’s open enrollment season this fall. And it risks undercutting President Obama’s promise that people who like their health care plans can keep them. A new analysis by a leading private research firm estimates that more than 3 million beneficiaries will see their current drug plan eliminated as Medicare tries to winnow down duplicative and confusing coverage in order to offer consumers more meaningful choices. Instead of 40 or more plans in each state, beneficiaries would pick from 30 or so.