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Medicare prescription drug coverage

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Medicare prescription drug coverage

Medicare prescription drug coverage

This is an extra benefit that is offered by private carriers or insurance companies. Go to this page for details.

From January first, 2006, Medicare prescription drugs coverage was provided to any person who was eligible for Medicare. The plan was aimed at lowering the costs of members for prescription drugs and was intended to control the rising costs of these drugs. Medicare drugs coverage was intended as an extra insurance benefit provided by insurance companies. The enrolled person can opt for any plan under the wide selection of plans and he pays his premiums accordingly. A late enrollment fee is charged if you were eligible for this cover previously and you did not take it up then, but you want to now. So, it is best to consider your future needs right now and opt for a suitable cover. You should seriously consider this coverage even if you are not using much medication.

Two different types of plans are available which provide drug covers. First is the coverage provided under plans like Medicare Advantage and other Medicare health plans. The next is that provided under supplemental Medicare plans. They are also available for fee for service plans. You may also get a prescription drug coverage plan that you can add to if you already have an Original Medicare Plan.

You have to pay a monthly premium for all Medicare plans providing drug coverage unless you qualify under low income category. In that case, you may get assistance to help you pay for them. If you qualify under low incomes, you may also get covers for less payment. All the plans are to provide benefits which are at least equal in value to those offered by a standard Medicare coverage, if not more. You should find how your current coverage compares with a standard Medicare health plan.

The coverage levels, filling your prescription, the cost and maintaining coverage will depend on the plan you choose. When you are finding out about coverage, consider that Medicare drug plans cover both brand and generic drugs. Rules for drugs coverage will be included in separate categories and strict drug formularies may be followed. If the drug of your choice does not feature in the list, it may not be covered. Particular rules also regulate that certain drugs are mandatorily covered, this helps people seeking treatment. This list of drugs is being constantly changed, so the drugs you want may or may not feature at all times. But the plan is bound to let you know at least 60days in advance if a particular drug you use is being removed from the list or if the charges levied are being changed. The drug you choose may be made into an exception if the doctor certifies that it is medically necessary.

Certain plans have a contract with particular pharmacies. You should always make sure that the drugs you use are available at those particular pharmacies and that they are conveniently located. In fact certain drug plans also allow prescription refills through mail order.

It is a fact that as we age, we need drugs to treat illnesses and also to keep us healthy. If you join a Medicare drug plan as soon as possible, you pay lesser for the same covers. If you join later, you pay more. In fact, your premiums may go up by at least 1% for every month you delay. This is not a onetime charge. You continue paying this extra amount for as long as you are a member of Medicare.

Extra help is also provided for people having low incomes. About 35% of people enrolling in Medicare qualify for this facility. An assistance of 100% is also provided. This may be equivalent to the saving of hundreds of tax dollars under this plan. People qualifying under this plan pay no premiums and may have to pay small amounts of co pay. Your income decides whether you can avail of this facility. However, you do have to apply before January 1st 2006 if you want this facility. You will be enrolled in a Medicare plan if you fail to do so by May 15th, 2006. This plan is an important one. You might want to find out more about it. You should also find out how you may get started. You can join within the initial seven months enrollment period if you become eligible after March 2006.

Warning: Scammers might want to know about your financial details by pretending to be a Medicare plan. Watch out for these signs-

Private companies which are authorized by Medicare to sell these plans may approach you by mail or phone. They do not do it on a door to door basis. Also, they may not request you to join over the phone. If you decide to join, you must inform them, not vice versa. In case of any doubt, call the medicare hotline (18006334227).

Your Medicare ID number should not be let out. Neither should you let the person know about your social security number, bank or any other information. If they are asking you about these, they must be scammers.

Also, if somebody implies that you are legally bound to enroll, forget it! Some may even say that if you donít enroll, you lose all your benefits. That is just NOT TRUE! Finally, remember that there is no fee to enroll.


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