Is Part D For You?
You can use this section to help you decide if a Medicare Part D plan is right for you.
Do you qualify for Medicare? Everyone who is age 65 or older is eligible. OR, you could be eligible because you have certain disabilities (and/or are on state Medicaid assistance.)
You´ll have to wait until you turn 65 or experience a qualifying disability to apply. If you have questions about a disability, contact your local Medicaid office for qualifying information.
Are you using prescription medications now, or do you expect to in the future?
You still may want to consider applying now. As we age, our drug use typically increases. Studies have shown that someone who is 75 years old can spend 25% MORE a year on drugs than someone who is 65. Your needs may increase. If you sign up now you´ll pay a lower premium than if you wait to sign up.
Are you paying for all your drug costs right now? For instance: you don´t have any prescription coverage now (through an employer, retirement benefit, Medigap policy, etc.), and you pay for all your medicines out of your own pocket.
If you do have other prescription drug coverage, you need to compare costs, check to see if your current benefits will still be available in 2010, and decide whether to stay with your current coverage or change to a Part D drug plan.
Do you like the security of knowing you´ll be covered in the future?
One of the features of the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Benefit is that it puts a cap on your out-of-pocket costs for medications. Even if you develop an expensive illness or condition, you´ll be covered beyond a certain dollar amount. This can help protect your income and your lifestyle in the future.
Do you like to save money on regular expenses like your medications?
There are a number of ways that the Part D plans help: you get low prices for your medications, due to the purchasing power and discounts negotiated by the companies providing the plans. You get help paying for the drugs at certain points in the coverage (through benefits applied after your deductible, and once you reach certain spending levels). And, if you have a lower income and assets, you may qualify for additional assistance. (See your local Social Security office for information – you have to apply for this extra help.)
Did you answer YES to one or more of these questions? You will most likely want to sign up for one of the Part D prescription drug plans available in your area. Watch for information and sign up during the open enrollment period from November 15th - December 31st.