Starting today, seniors and their caregivers can stop by any Rite Aid pharmacy for a free personalized Medicare Part D consultation with a Rite Aid pharmacist or use Rite Aid's dedicated Medicare Advisor comparison tools online at www.riteaid.com. Appointments for the free consultations are recommended, but not necessary. Open enrollment begins today, Oct. 15, and runs through Dec. 7. Because there is a complicated pricing process used by Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) providers, coverage rates vary depending on the prescription drugs needed by a Medicare beneficiary and also by the region in which he or she lives. There are about 30 PDPs available in any one geographical region, and the best plan last year is not necessarily the best plan this year. "Medicare Part D plans are not all created alike, and finding the right Medicare Part D plan can be overwhelming," said Robert I. Thompson, executive vice president of pharmacy for Rite Aid. "But it's easier with a trusted advisor. Rite Aid pharmacists stand ready to help their patients find the plan in their area that is best for their prescription needs." Medicare Part D – also commonly called Prescription Drug Plans – are the most common form of the federal program designed to help people over 65 and those with disabilities afford prescription coverage. There are 19.7 million beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Part D PDPs, according to a report last month by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Rite Aid patients and caregivers can also compare plans from the comfort of their own home using Rite Aid's Medicare Advisor online at www.riteaid.com/medicareadvisor. Comparisons in stores and online generate a printable report estimating the three lowest-cost plans based on the enrollee's current prescriptions filled at Rite Aid locations. Medicare beneficiaries have until Dec. 7 to review their current plan or enroll in a new plan. Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE: RAD) is one of the nation’s leading drugstore chains with more than 4,600 stores in 31 states and the District of Columbia and fiscal 2012 annual revenues of $26.1 billion. Information about Rite Aid, including corporate background and press releases, is available through the company’s website at www.riteaid.com.