Medicare open enrollment deadline is Dec. 7

Medicare users have until Dec. 7 to make their choice for plans in 2020.

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The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rebuilt and relaunched their Plan Finder tool for this year's enrollment season, enabling the more than 60 million Americans enrolled in Medicare programs in 2019 to find and compare plans more easily.

Enrollment began Oct. 15.

There are more than 600 Medicare Advantage plans that have been introduced to the field of options, and premium costs have dropped to six-year lows, according to the service centers.

During the past three years, the average Part D basic premiums decreased by 13.5 percent, according to the service centers The average premium has dropped from $34.70 a month in 2017 to a projected monthly payment of $30 in 2020. The total savings amounts to about $1.9 billion, according to the service centers.

Despite the changes made to the system, basic Medicare plans still do not offer dental coverage, except in rare cases when dental care is an integral part of treatment for a covered healthcare procedure, according to the service centers.

Medicare Advantage plans will continue to offer dental coverage. The plans include more expensive services that senior citizens tend to require as they age, and a wider range of standard medical care options.

However, Medicare Advantage customers can still visit only the healthcare providers within their network, limiting the range of doctors people can see - leaving some consumers feeling they must choose between the dental care of Advantage and the unrestricted access to doctors afforded by regular Medicare.

The compromise is for customers to choose a standard Medicare plan while also enrolling in a Dental Savings Plan. The Dental Savings plans include "10-60%" savings on both routine and specialized dental procedures, but requires customers to enroll in it as a second program and pay a second set of prices and premiums.

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