2017 Medicare Part D Rx prescription plan, also known as Part D helps Medicare members pay for prescription drugs. If you are eligible for Medicare and do not currently have prescription drug coverage, you should consider enrolling in one of these plans. If you don’t enroll in a drug plan when you’re first eligible and you don’t have other creditable coverage, you may have to pay a “Late enrollment Penalty,” at least 1 percent of your premium for each month you wait to enroll.
2017 Annual Open-Enrollment Starts October 15.
Compare Part D plans every year:
Medicare Part D Rx plans change every renewal period. The deductible may increase, the companies place drugs on different “Tier” levels, even remove drugs from their formulary list. The best place to start your comparison is Medicare.gov:
2016 Plan Details …
Private insurance companies are the only place to purchase a Part D Rx plan. And most follow a “Standard Benefit Plan Outline” which is as follows:
- Initial deductible ($400) – Some plans may have an annual deductible, while others do not have any deductible at all, allowing “first dollar coverage.” After the deductible is met the Beneficiary pays 25% of covered costs up to total prescription costs meeting the initial Coverage Limit.
- Initial Coverage Limit ($3,700) – Once you satisfy a deductible, then you will most likely have copays for each of your prescription drugs. This coverage limit extends to the point where the total retail cost of the medication(s) reach $3,700.
- Coverage Gap “Donut Hole” ($3,700 – $4,950) – Next is the “Coverage Gap (Donut Hole) this part of the plan is when you have your retail costs of your prescriptions reach a total of $3,700. At this point you will pay 51% of your “Generic” drugs and the 40% of your “Brand” drugs, until your total prescription retail cost reaches $4,950. You get these savings if you buy your prescriptions at a pharmacy or order them through the mail. The discount will come off of the price that your plans has set with the pharmacy for that specific drug.
- Catastrophic Coverage ($4,900) – After the Donut Hole you enter the “Catastrophic Coverage” portion of your plan. This is when a person has spent more than $4,950 in prescription costs. At this time, they will be protected by the Catastrophic Coverage which pays typically covers 95% of their drug costs for the balance of the year.
Enrollment Periods …
- Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) – This period is for people who first become eligible for Medicare Parts A and B coverage. You have 3 months to enroll in a plan once your Part B coverage goes into effect.
- Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) – This is the time each year you are able to change Part D companies or stay with the same plan. The AEP starts each year on October 15 and ends December 7, for an effective date of January 1st.
- Special Enrollment Period (SEP) – Allows a person to enroll in a Part D plan outside the normal enrollment periods. A Special Enrollment period is: when a person looses their current creditable prescription drug coverage with a group health plan. If the Part D company changes benefits of the plan, also if a person moves outside the Part D plan coverage location. These are all examples of a SEP.
A good place to start your search …
If you are enrolled in a Medicare Supplement Plan, you will also need to enroll in a separate Medicare part D Rx plan, which will help you pay for your prescription costs. If you are enrolling or enrolled in a Medicare Advantage HMO, you should also see how well that HMO drug plan will cover your medications. A good place to start you search is right here. Call me so we can discuss your best Part D Rx plan options.
Looking for a Medicare Supplement plan? Compare Rates Here.
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