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Medicare Part D Deadline May Be Waived - How to Choose A Plan and Calculate the Late Enrollment Penalty

May 16th 2006

Medicare Part D Deadline May Be Waived - How to Choose A Plan and Calculate the Late Enrollment Penalty

Medicare Card

The Senate may move the Medicare Part D enrollment deadline for those who have not already signed up.  Technically, the senate is considering a waiver.  Charles Grassley, the Senate Finance Chairman, has introduced a $1.7 billion measure to suspend a penalty for elderly Americans who missed yesterday's deadline for enrolling in the new Medicare drug benefit.

For those who have not enrolled, the penalty could add a number of dollars to each month’s premium.  The penalty amounts to 1 percent of the state average (some experts say it is the national average and others believe it could be the regional average) premium for each month you delay enrollment after May of this year.  Here is an example:  If you wait until 2011 to sign-up, you will be penalized for 66 months.  If the state (or region) average premium is $40 per month at the time you enroll in 2011, and you choose a plan that costs $30 per month, your monthly premium will be $30 plus $26.80. 

 

The $26.80 is calculated by multiplying $40 by 66% (or .66).  The 66 percent comes from the fact that you were 66 months late signing up.  Now instead of paying a $30 premium, you will be charged $56.80 ($30 + $26.80).  Seniors should consider signing up as soon as possible to avoid the penalty. 

But what plan should you choose?  The first thing you need to do is write down all the medications you take.  After this is done, start investigating the plans available in your state.  This can be done at the Medicare website.  You will be asked some questions including your Medicare claim number, name, date of birth and if you are a member of Part A or B.

 

Some Senators have claimed that the plan is too complicated.  There are deductibles, premiums, co-pays and other things that need to be considered when choosing a plan. Some senior citizen centers may be able to help you decide which plan is right for you.  AARP might also be a useful source of information.  There is a program for low income participants called Extra Help. 

 
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Dan Wilson
Best Syndication

 Health Insurance
 

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Important:  The material on Best Syndication is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. You should promptly seek professional medical care if you have any concern about your health, and you should always consult your physician before starting a fitness program.
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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                   Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:51 PM