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Senior Wellness

Medicare Part D

Get the facts you need to know about the recent changes to Medicare.


Helpful information on Medicare plans:

What drug plans cover Each Medicare Prescription Drug Plan has its own list of covered drugs, which is called a formulary. Many Medicare drug plans place drugs into different "tiers". Drugs in each tier have different costs, and a drug in a lower tier will generally cost you less than one in a higher tier.

How to get drug coverage To get Medicare drug coverage, you must join a plan run by an insurance company or other private company approved by Medicare. Each plan can vary in cost and drugs covered.

There are two plans for drug coverage:

  • Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D).
  • Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) (much like an HMO or PPO) or other Medicare health plans that offer Medicare prescription drug coverage.

How to join a drug plan

  • Enroll on the Medicare Plan Finder or on the plan's website.
  • Complete a paper enrollment form.
  • Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).

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.

How joining may affect your Medicare Advantage Plan If your Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) includes prescription drug coverage and you join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D), you'll be disenrolled from your Medicare Advantage Plan and returned to Original Medicare.

When you can join a health or drug plan You can sign up or make changes to coverage you already have from October 15 — December 7, 2013. You don't need to sign up for Medicare each year. However, each year you'll have a chance to review your coverage and change plans.

What you can do

  • Change from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan, or vice versa.
  • Switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another one.
  • Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn't offer drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers drug coverage, or vice versa.
  • Join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
  • Switch from one Medicare drug plan to another one.
  • Drop your Medicare prescription drug coverage completely.