What You Should Know About Medicare Part D
Medicare provides prescription drug coverage that makes it easier for everyone with Medicare to pay for the drugs they need to stay healthy. Everyone with Medicare can choose to enroll in this voluntary drug coverage regardless of their income, health, or how they currently pay for their prescriptions.
The information presented here is intended to provide basic information on this new Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage and to direct Kansans to more detailed program information. This information is in no way intended to serve as a recommendation of any specific plan by the Kansas Insurance Department.
How to enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan
To enroll, you must have Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B
Note: You can change your plan during the open enrollment period, which will be from October 15 through December 7 each year. Your Medicare prescription drug plan will begin January 1 of the following year.
To join, you will need to decide how you want to get your prescriptions. You can:
- Get all your health care benefits and prescriptions through a Medicare Advantage Managed Care Plan that offers optional coverage for prescription drugs,
- Get your health care benefits through the Original Medicare Plan and choose a Medicare prescription drug plan, or
- Get your health care benefits through another type of Medicare Advantage health plan or a Medicare Managed Care Plan that isn't a Medicare Advantage Plan. In these kinds of plans, you may be able to choose a Medicare prescription drug plan.
How the Medicare prescription drug plan works
Medicare prescription drug plans vary, but in general, this is how they will work. When you join, you will pay a monthly premium (varies depending on the plan you choose) in addition to any premiums for Medicare Part A and Part B. You will pay a deductible for your prescriptions.
After you pay the yearly deductible, you will pay varying coinsurance amounts.
Medicare prescription drug plans can offer coverage like this or more generous coverage for higher premiums. Joining is your choice. However, if you don't join when you are first eligible, you may have to pay a higher premium if you choose to join later. You will have to pay this higher premium for as long as you have a Medicare prescription drug plan.
Note: If you already have prescription coverage from other insurance, you can keep that coverage. If that coverage offers the same or better benefits as described above, you won't have to pay a higher premium if you decide to join later. Check with your insurance company to see how your coverage compares.
IMPORTANT: If you have prescription drug coverage through an employer or union, check with your benefits administrator to discuss your options before you make any changes to your prescription drug coverage.
Things to remember about Medicare prescription drug plans
- If you want coverage, you must enroll in a plan. Enrollment is not automatic.
- Once you're enrolled, you will pay a monthly premium.
- If you have a low income and limited assets, there will be extra help with your costs.
Visit www.medicare.gov for more information.
Kansans can get additional information about Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage by:
- Visiting www.Medicare.gov or looking over the Medicare Frequently Asked Questions
- Calling Medicare at 1-800-633-4227 (1-800-MEDICARE)
- Calling 1-800-860-5260 to schedule a free, confidential counseling session with a trained counselor. These counselors are affiliated with Senior Health Insurance Counseling for Kansas, a service of the Kansas Department on Aging.
- Calling the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 or your local SRS office.