Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D) helps you pay for both brand-name and generic drugs. Medicare drug plans are offered by insurance companies and other private companies approved by Medicare.
To join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, you must have Medicare Part A or have Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance). You must also live in the service area of the Medicare health plan or drug plan you want to join.
Once you become eligible for Medicare, you have the opportunity to obtain drug coverage:
Once you work with your fred’s Pharmacist to choose the Medicare drug plan that is best for you, you can enroll in any of the following ways:
When you join a Medicare drug plan, you'll give your Medicare number and the date your Part A and/or Part B coverage started. (This information is on your Medicare card.)
You can change plans during the Medicare prescription drug program's annual enrollment period, which is from October 15 to December 7 each year. (Those with both Medicare and Medicaid may change plans monthly, at any time throughout the year.)
If you don´t join a Medicare drug plan during your initial enrollment period – or 63 days after your creditable insurance coverage ends – you may have to pay a late-enrollment penalty when you join. This amount changes every year but is approximately 1% of the plan's premium price for each month you delay enrolling plus a penalty for as long as you have Medicare prescription drug coverage.
If you have limited income and resources, you may qualify for Extra Help, a Medicare program to help pay Medicare prescription drug costs. To qualify for Extra Help in 2017, your yearly annual income must be limited to:
You may qualify even if you have a higher income (like if you still work or have dependents living with you). If you qualify for Extra Help and join a Medicare drug plan, you'll:
Prescription medications covered vary by plan. Talk to your fred’s Pharmacist to determine which Medicare Part D plan offers the best coverage for your current prescriptions.
If you're currently enrolled in a Medicare Part D plan, you should think about a few things to decide if you are in “the right plan.” Each year, plan premiums, deductibles, prescription copayments and annual out-of-pocket expenses can change. These costs, as well as the list of covered drugs, vary from plan to plan and from region to region.
It’s a good idea to review the various plans available to you in light of your current and anticipated prescription needs and financial resources. You may want to consider whether there is a different plan available that may be more suited to your needs. Visit your fred's Pharmacist or use the Medicare Plan Finder to help determine which plan is best for you.