Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

Medicare Open Season Starts Today!

Oct 15, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Vern Buchanan today encouraged seniors to review their Medicare coverage and ensure they have the best plan that meets their needs as Medicare open enrollment gets under way.

 Buchanan said Medicare’s annual open season, from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, is the only time those enrolled in Medicare can change their health and prescription drug plans. These changes will take effect on Jan. 1, 2021.

 “Those on Medicare should review their coverage to make the best decision for their health needs because some plans and benefits may change in the upcoming year,” Buchanan said.

Buchanan represents Florida’s 16th congressional district, which is home to more than 220,000 Medicare recipients and is the seventh oldest congressional district in the country.

“Medicare is one of the government’s most successful programs and I hope Florida’s seniors will use this opportunity to find the best plan that fits their health care needs,” Buchanan said. “Don’t let anything catch you off guard next year. Comparing different Medicare plan options could help bring down your out-of-pocket costs.”

Medicare has an estimated 60 million beneficiaries across the country, accounting for 18 percent of the total U.S. population, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Florida ranks second only to California for the highest number of Medicare beneficiaries.

Everyone on Medicare is eligible for prescription drug coverage, regardless of income and resources, health status or current drug expenses. Seniors who are happy with their current coverage do not need to do anything.

Buchanan is a strong advocate for protecting and strengthening Medicare for both today’s seniors and future generations. “I will continue to protect this vital program and honor our commitment to America's seniors,” Buchanan continued.

Earlier this year Buchanan was presented with the “Champion for Healthy Seniors” award by the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease for protecting Medicare and fighting for lower prescription drug costs. Buchanan also co-sponsored bipartisan legislation to permanently extend Medicare’s telehealth coverage beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. In September, Buchanan sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to ensure all senior enrolled in Medicare receive a coronavirus vaccine free.

 As a senior member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over Social Security and Medicare, Buchanan will continue to fight to protect these programs.

Seniors may sign up or update their plans in two ways:

*    Phone: Call 1-800-MEDICARE. Seniors should have their Medicare card, a list of drugs they use and the name of their pharmacy on hand to get immediate help in choosing a plan.

*    Online: Go to to review prescription drug coverage options

More details on Medicare Open Enrollment are available online in the U.S. Government Medicare handbook: