Prescription For Progress - Taking The Mystery Out Of Medicare Part D and Its Enrollment Decisions

February 17, 2006

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Approximately 42 million Medicare beneficiaries will be offered coverage for prescription costs through the new Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003, which became law on December 8, 2003. Effective January 1, 2006, Medicare Part D provides insurance that will help pay for certain prescription medications. Many people are familiar with Medicare with respect to providing payments for covered hospital stays and doctor’s visits; however, the prescription drug plan is causing quite a bit of confusion among those eligible for benefits. Fortunately, there is a wealth of information and resources available to aid Medicare beneficiaries with their enrollment decisions.

In order to be eligible for prescription drug coverage through Medicare Part D, you must have Medicare Part A or Part B; however, if you wish to enroll in a prescription plan with an HMO or PPO, you must have Part A and Part B coverage. The initial enrollment period for Medicare Part D runs from November 15, 2005 – May 15, 2006, and future enrollment periods will run from November 15 – December 31 annually. Due to the newness of the program and the difficulties that some may encounter when initially choosing a plan, if a plan has already been chosen, you may be able to change drug plans until May 15, 2006; however, in future years, you will only be able to change plans during the next enrollment period, except in limited exceptional circumstances.

Many people believe that since they are not dependent on prescription medications at the present time, they should delay enrolling in a prescription drug plan...

You may read more at the link below.

by: Gina M. Barry, Esquire

Healthcare News, BusinessWest
February 2006, January 2006

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