Well, it was simple, back in the 1965 when President Johnson signed the bill which created Medicare for seniors. During the past fifty years, every ‘improvement’ has added another layer of confusing, but valuable, choices.
While some aspects of Medicare are daunting, Medicare Part D prescription drug plans are pretty straight forward.
Simple Solution, Medicare Advantage With Prescription Coverage
Simply put, if you have chosen a Medicare Advantage Plan your prescriptions are built into the plan, but only IF you have chosen a plan with enough drug coverage for your prescriptions. Unsure what your plan encompasses? Contact your Advantage Plan provider to refresh your memory about your plan’s details and receive suggestions for your next enrollment period.
Not a Medicare Advantage subscriber?
Your Medicare Part A & Part B alone leaves you without prescription drug coverage.
Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage, is sold and provided by approved private companies. Medicare Part D participants pay a greatly reduced rate for prescription drugs not covered by original Medicare parts A & B. Part D is available to anyone enrolled in original Medicare. You must enroll in Medicare Part D separately from Medicare Parts A & B.
Medicare Part D has monthly premiums
Your annual Part D cost depends on the plan you choose. Some of those factors which effect your premiums are:
- How many drugs you take
- The cost of the drugs you take
- Your plans deductibles or co-payments
If you don’t join the Medicare Part D prescription plan, or a Medicare Advantage plan includes prescription drug coverage as soon as you become eligible, you may face a late enrollment penalty. That penalty is currently 1% of the national based premium for every month that you did not have creditable prescription drug coverage. This penalty will be added to your monthly premium once you enroll. If you have creditable prescription drug coverage from another source, like a spouses private health insurance plan, or a plan through your employer, you’ll typically avoid this penalty.
Important! If you’re a senior, don’t go more than 63 days in a row without a Medicare prescription drug plan or other creditable prescription choices, or the penalty will apply.
The three choices in Medicare services and prescription drug plans:
- Medicare Advantage, also called Medicare Part C provides both Part A & B through a provider approved by Medicare. Medicare Advantage often covers your prescription drugs, Medicare Part D
- Original Medicare Part A & Part B, plus Part D prescription drug coverage through a private company approved by Medicare
- Original Medicare, parts A & B, plus Medicare Part D prescription Drug coverage. Plus medicare supplements, also called Medigap
“Drugs never cure disease. They merely hush the voice of nature’s protest, and pull down the danger signals she erects along the pathway of transgression. Any poison taken into the system has to be reckoned with later on even though it palliates present symptoms. Pain may disappear, but the patient is left in a worse condition, though unconscious of it at the time.” ~ Daniel. H. Kress, M.D.