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How do you apply for Medicare Part D?
Just the essentials...
Medicare Part D is the prescription drug portion of the federal Medicare program
To qualify for Part C or D, applicants must be enrolled in Medicare Part A or Parts A and B
Medicare beneficiaries can get prescription drug coverage in a stand-alone program
Beneficiaries can get prescription drug coverage through a combination Medicare Advantage policy under Part C
Beneficiaries can enroll during the annual open season October 15 through December 7
Medicare Part D is the valuable subsidy for prescription drugs provided by the Medicare laws. Private companies operate the plans. Medical insurance, hospital coverage, and prescription drug coverage are the three insurance concerns of Medicare.
The initial enrollment is the best time to sign up for every part of Medicare. It is the time to get insurance and prescription coverage without penalty and on the most economical terms.
Applicants that do not add Parts B, C, or D during the initial signup may face a penalty when adding them later.
No Dual Enrollment
Medicare does not permit simultaneous enrollment in Part D stand-alone and a Part C Medicare Advantage with prescription drug coverage; it is sometimes called an MA-PD.
If an applicant enrolls in a Part D program while enrolled in a Medicare Advantage program with drug coverage, the CMS administration will cancel the Medicare Advantage membership and return the applicant to Original Medicare.
The Extra Help program has income and asset limits. It is a limited Income subsidy, or LIS, or incomes up to 150 percent of poverty line.
Successful applicants cannot exceed the limit for cash and other financial assets.
The beneficiaries get low-income subsidy pricing on generic drugs and covered brand name drugs. This program works to reduce costs to LIS levels even when the subscriber enters the lower range of the “donut hole”.
Benefits of Prescription Drug Coverage
Prescription drug coverage reduces the costs of medicines. For patients with long-term prescriptions, this can amount to significant savings. Some prescription drug plans come with zero deductibles. Many more offer achievable deductibles in the range of $300 per year.
The 2020 deductible limit is $435. Once subscribers pass the deductible amount for the year, the insurance benefits start. The insurer pays the agreed coinsurance. Users that have tier one generics pay a nominal copay.
The Donut Hole
Part D plans contain a gap in coverage called the donut hole. The hole is a limit on drug plan payments.
In 2020 subscribers enter the donut hole at $4,020. In this range, subscribers pay a maximum of 45 percent of the drug price for brand name drugs.
The rules add the balance of fifty percent of the price to the 45 percent so that 95 percent counts as out-of-pocket expenses. These add up to get the subscriber out of the donut hole and pass the out-of-pocket limit. People with Extra Help won’t get the donut hole. This program will pay the Part D costs.
The reduction in the amount Medicare recipients must pay gets better each year. In 2016, it is 45 percent with 95 percent credit towards out-of-pocket expenses.
Finding Part D Plan
Medicare provides an online plan locator to list the available programs in a given area. The locator tool allows users to input the drugs they use to get a precise idea of the costs and savings from the plan options.
Applicants can do this by phone or at a local Social Security office with help from counselors.
Signing Up for Part D
Applicants can apply for Medicare Part D – Prescription Drug coverage online, at a local social security office, by telephone, and by hard copy mail.
Applicants can apply during the initial signup when they qualify and sign up for social security benefits. They can apply during the Part C open enrollment October 15 through December 7. Applicants can sign up in a special enrollment period. After open enrollment, applicants may still apply to a five-star rated provider in their geographic area. Comparison shopping is an effective approach to selecting stand-alone drug plans and Medicare Advantage with prescription drug coverage.
By researching drug information for their current prescriptions, consumers can see the prices that they will pay under a particular plan and coverage. In this way, they can assess the true savings when adding premiums, subsidized prescription prices, and copays.
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