Medicare Part D - Prescription Drug Plan

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Medicare Part D is prescription drug coverage for anyone on Medicare.  You may want to consider joining even if you don’t take a lot of prescriptions.  In order to receive coverage you must join a plan run by an insurance or other Medicare approved private company.

You can enroll if you have Medicare Part A (hospital insurance that helps cover inpatient care in hospitals, skilled nursing facility, hospice, and home health care) or Part B (helps cover medically-necessary services like doctors' services, outpatient care, durable medical equipment, home health services, and other medical services).  You must live in an area where the Medicare drug plan is offered.  If you are employed or have union coverage, contact your benefits administrator before signing-up for Medicare Part D. 

Please review the information on www.medicare.gov. Most of your questions including comparing drug plans and signing-up for a Medicare Part D drug plan can be done at www.medicare.gov.

You can sign-up for Medicare Part D when you initially sign-up for Medicare.  You can change Part D plans during the open enrollment period between November 15 through December 31 of each year.  If you choose to enroll after you are first eligible, you will likely pay a late enrollment penalty.

Once you logon to www.medicare.gov, you can get your questions answered, compare plans, and enroll in a plan.  Before you logon to, make sure you have your Medicare card and your current prescription information ready including the drug name, dosage, and amount.  For example, let’s say you take Nexium 40 mg daily and you refill it monthly.  That’s what you need to tell Medicare.  If a generic drug is available, it will inform you of the availability of the generic drug.

If you are comfortable using the web to order or purchase goods and services, you should not have any problems using www.medicare.gov.  If you are not comfortable, you can work with an authorized insurance company, your local Medicare office, or call 1-800-MEDICARE and talk with a Customer Service Representative.  Here is a list of items you will need to provide Medicare. Logon to www.medicare.gov

  • Your ZIP Code
  • Your Medicare Number (leave out the dashes)
  • Your Last Name
  • Your Effective Date for Part B
  • Your Date of Birth
  • The name of one of your prescription drug(s), including dosage and amount
  • The name of your pharmacy and the pharmacy contact information
  • The name of the Drug Prescription you wish to enroll.  If you don’t know, the website will provide you with a list of eligible plans.  Also consider contacting a insurance agent for help and advice

Good luck.  If you are not comfortable doing this process, that’s OK.  I would then suggest calling 1-800-MEDICARE and talk with a Customer Service Representative.

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