New Medicare Part D Drug Plan Insurance Choices and Benefits for
October 1st 2005
Medicare Part D
This weekend solicitations will begin for the new
Medicare drug prescription plans to be implemented next year. The new
program, known as Medicare Part D, will begin on January 1, 2006. There
will be over 40 options available to beneficiaries in almost every
state. According to the Bush administration most plans will differ
slightly from the standard minimum benefit mandated by Congress.
Medicare recipients must pay a $250 deductible and
will then be responsible for 25 percent of annual drug costs ranging
from $251 to $2,250, according to the New York Times. Recipients will
be responsible for the next $2,850 in expenses and after that Medicare
will pay about 95% of the expenses over $5,100.
This leaves a “coverage gap” of between $2,251 and
$5,099. Some plans may offer less than a $250 deductible. In most
states insurers may also provide drug coverage for those caught in the
Enrollment for the new plans begins November 15th.
More choices can sometimes be confusing. Each state may offer different
plans, and in some areas the drug coverage is also offered as part of
the Medicare-approved HMO membership plan. Some critics complain that
the programs may be so confusing that many seniors may not sign up for
any of them.
Not all drugs will be covered. Advocates for the plan
insist that coverage is worthwhile for most people. The program is
voluntary, so seniors may want to compare the coverage to what they
According to AARP, if you have limited income and
resources Medicare will pay most of your drug costs. If your income is
less than $14,355 a year for a single person or $19,245 for a married
couple you may be considered a limited income beneficiary. You may
qualify for a plan with limited or low co-payments and no deductible.
There are a couple things to consider when choosing a
plan. You will want to know where you can fill your prescriptions.
Some insurers may require you to fill them only at certain pharmacies.
Also, will the drugs you take be covered by the plan and how much will
it cost you out-of-pocket. Compare that to what you have right now.
If you planning on moving to a new state you may want
to investigate whether the plan will cover you there. According to AARP,
after May 15, 2006, most people who are already in Medicare will not
have another opportunity to enroll until the following November and will
be penalized for signing up late. There will be exceptions—for example,
if you move out of your plan’s service area, or if you lose creditable
drug coverage from another source through no fault of your own.
By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer
Keywords and misspellings: Medicare Medecare
Medicair Medicaire plan d