Finding the right Medicare Part D plan is key when reducing healthcare costs for seniors. Having a Medigap plan will help reduce out-of-pocket medical costs but does not address your prescription drug needs and costs.
If you are enrolled in an Original Medicare, you are able to enroll in a stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription plan. Annual enrollment for these plans is from October 15th through December 7th. During this same time, you can also choose to enroll in a Medigap Plan if you have not already done so.
To evaluate what drug plan may be best for you, we recommend keeping a running list of all your medications and the dosages. This is extremely helpful information when finding the best plan options for your needs.
Medicare Part D Question and Answer
Need Help With Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs?
If you are already enrolled in the Medicare prescription drug program, you may be able to receive extra help from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Eligible enrollees can get help paying for monthly premiums, annual deductibles and co-payments related to Medicare Part D. To find out if you qualify for extra help and to apply, please visit the SSA website.
Who is eligible for Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage?:
All individuals with Medicare Part A or Medicare Part B are eligible to enroll regardless of age, income or health conditions.
Do I have to participate in a Part D plan?
No, you do not have to participate. It is your choice. However as with other types of insurance, the longer you wait, the higher your premium will be.
How do I know if I should sign up?:
You will need to review your options carefully to see if a Part D plan is right for you. Part D plans are designed to provide financial savings to most people with Medicare. As insurance plans, they provide protection against future, unexpected costs. They also provide additional financial assistance for people with lower incomes.
Why is there a late enrollment fee?
Congress believes that unless you already have creditable prescription drug coverage, Part D plans are a great way for you to get help with the cost of prescription drugs. They crafted the rules to encourage people to enroll at the beginning instead of waiting to join only when health problems develop and drug costs rise. The late enrollment fee gives people a reason not to postpone the decision to join.
How do I get the specific information I need to choose a plan?
In October, you will begin to receive specific information about the options available to you. First, you will receive the “Medicare & You” handbook, which will include all of the plans available in your area. Second, in October, the plans will begin releasing specific plan information, including plan costs, the list of covered drugs (formulary), and the list of network pharmacies. Information will also be available at www.medicare.gov, the Medicare website.
Can I change Part D plans once I have enrolled?
Yes, you can change your Part D plan. The opportunities to switch are during Annual Enrollment. Each year, you will be able to choose a different Part D prescription drug plan or Medicare Advantage plan during an Annual Enrollment period that lasts from October 15 through December 7. Coverage under the new plan will begin the following January 1. Exceptions may occur if you move out of the service area of your current plan. You will have an opportunity to choose another plan that serves your new area.