Now is the time for Medicare beneficiaries to get their yearly Medicare Prescription Drug Plan checkup.

This year the open enrollment period is earlier from previous years — Saturday, Oct. 15 through Wednesday, Dec. 7. During this period Medicare beneficiaries can either switch Medicare Part D plans, or join a Part D plan for the first time. The open enrollment period begins and ends earlier this year to give Medicare more time to process changes in time to take effect in January of 2012.

Now is the time to consider the plan you are in. Spectrum Generations is hosting Medicare Part D clinics at each of its local centers in Topsham, Damariscotta, Rockland, Belfast, Hallowell, Waterville and Skowhegan to review your current health and prescription needs and help lower your prescription drug costs for 2012.

The Spectrum Generations Waldo Community Center, located at 18 Merriam Road in Belfast, is scheduling appointments for Nov. 9 and 30. Their experienced and knowledgeable staff is available to provide anyone with assistance and information so they can make an informed choice for 2012. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call 338-1190.

Even if your prescription needs have not changed, your plan’s coverage may have changed. Spectrum Generations Medicare counselors can help you sort out your options and choose a plan that best suit your needs.

Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers are encouraged to gather their lists of prescription drugs and call Spectrum Generations beginning Oct. 15 at 1-800-639-1553 (TTY 1-800-464-8703) to set up an appointment for Medicare Prescription Drug Plan counseling at one of the centers located in the towns listed above.

For information about Spectrum Generations programs, services and center activities call the numbers above, or visit: spectrumgenerations.org. Be sure to also visit them on Facebook.