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Money Saving Tips For Medicare Part D Recipients

Since January, 2006 millions of Americans have benefited from Medicare Part D plan as it enable them to pay for their prescription drugs. There are more than 1,300 different options available in Medicare insurance plan to choose from, these options cater to different needs of the general public. The federal government has invested considerable amount of man hours in framing Medicare plans that can suit the needs of every individual.

There are several terms related to Medicare Part D such as donut holes, open enrollment periods, and annual period of election, tiers, and penalties for late enrollment, formularies and many others. In order to arrive on a wise decision it is essential to accurate information of all the terms related to Medicare. One must be hundred percent sure of the open enrollment period. The fact that anyone with any situation can enroll during this period makes this period really important. We thank people for showing their confidence in us in imparting knowledge about Medicare Health Insurance Industry.

Guide to Medicare Part D:

  1. The cost, Medicare coverage, convenience and Medicare Part D company ratings.
  2. Different types of generics, and your out of pocket expenses.
  3. Mail ordering. Is this the best way to buy prescription drugs?
  4. Is there still a late enrollment penalty? Is it being enforced?
  5. What is the preferred method to pay
  6. Cut-off dates and other important information.

Medicare Part D Coverage

1. The Cost, Medicare Coverage, Convenience, & Company Ratings:
Medicare recipients need to focus on recommendations given by The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, particularly for Medicare Part D plan.

  • Company
  • Convenience
  • Cost
  • Insurance coverage

As per guidelines from CMS it is highly recommended that Medicare recipients should know all the in and out of Medicare insurance before enrolling in one. In majority of the cases a new recipient of Medicare does not know much about the stability and strength of companies that are providing Medicare Part D insurance.

Now you need not to go through trial and error method to find out which insurance is perfect for you. In the year 2010, experiences of Medicare recipients were published to help new applicants in making the right decision.

2. Different Types of Generics & Your Out of Pocket Cost:

Question: It is difficult to understand the difference between regular generics and preferred generics in the Medicare Part D gap coverage. Part D plans either covers “some generics” or “all preferred generics” or “all generics”. It is difficult to understand what it means?

Answer: there is no single meaning for the different terms used for “generic drugs”. Every insurance company presents the Medicare Part D that best serves their requirements. Two separate companies may define “preferred generic” in an entirely different manner. This only results in confusion for the end consumer as there is no standard followed by the insurance industry. As far as we can see this is a loop hole left out by the designers of Medicare which needs rectification in the near future. Different ways used by insurance companies to describe generic drugs is a way to save them from not covering all the generic drugs in the donut hole.

The most popular and widely used generic drugs are considered as common generics by Medicare Part D plans. One needs to bear in mind that even though the generic drugs are covered under doughnut hole, the insured person is still required to pay for co-payments. The specific plan under the Medicare Part D give details related to it.


3. Is Mail Order the Best Way To Buy Prescriptions?

Question: Is it worth to opt for mail order option in Medicare Part D plan?

Answer: one can save good amount of money under various circumstances by opting for mail order service in Medicare Part D plan. Maintaining good relationship with the local pharmacist will pay in the long run and the reduced cost on drugs will delay the arrival of doughnut hole.

4. The Enrollment Penalty? Is It Being Enforced?

Question: Since there was no requirement for prescription drug I did not enrolled in Medicare Part D during the open enrollment period. But things are different now and I want to join Part D. Is there any late penalty and what would it cost?

Answer: the applicant is required to pay a late penalty for enrolling outside the open enrollment period, the recipients of Part D will receive a letter from Medicare regarding the late penalty amount they are required to pay. This amount is determined by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the same is informed to the insurance company that provides Part D coverage.

The applicant receives a letter from the insurance company about the late penalty, it also details about the calculation. People who fall under the low income recipients are not required to pay the late enrollment penalty for Part D till the end of 2012.

5. What is the Preferred Method to Pay for Medicare Part D?

Question: How can I pay for Medicare Part D?

Answer: One can pay through credit cards, social security deductions, bank draft or personal check. It is better to pay for Medicare Part D through bank draft from the account that has the highest amount. This way your coverage will not lapse in case you forget to make the payment.

6. Cut-off dates and other important information:

The annual open enrollment period starts from November 15. The beneficiary can obtain a new advantage plan or new Part D coverage, the insurance coverage however starts from January 1. The Medicare beneficiary does not make any changes in the plan than, it will remain same for the following year. One should weigh all the pros and cons of the current plan and the one he or she wants to enroll in to make a sensible decision.

The open enrollment period ends on December 31 and after that one can join or switch plan the following year. People who did not enrolled during this period will be required to pay penalty throughout their life when they decide to join the plan. In case the person wants to join advantage plan he or she can do so from January 1 to March 31 which is an additional enrollment period for this plan. One cannot enroll in prescription drug coverage during this period, however, people who are already enrolled in Part D can apply for advantage plan in this period.

Low income families are eligible for dual enrollment and can switch to Medicare Part D through the year on the first of every month. It may sound silly that one can change plan once every month. It will be a wise decision to find a subsidized Part D insurance that covers all the medications. People who enroll in Medicare for the first time have seven months time to do so.

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2012 Medicare Part D Statistics

States
Medicare Part D Eligible


Prescription Drug Programs

Medicare Advantage Drug Plans (MA-PDs)
Employer Plans Taking Retiree Drug Subsidies
Other Prescription Coverage
Known Credible
Drug Coverage
United States
42,158,217
17,32,278 1
8,010,244 2
6,460,230
3,441,207 3
34,315,459
Alabama
698,120
339,712
116,564
426,276
138,376
491,427
Alaska
77,527
622,914
254
34,441
9,345
57,529
Arizona
853,234
231,325
290,550
403,930
139,349
428,124
Arkanas
339,561
455,592
43,026
40,223
38,421
326,452
California
4,402,431
3,545,786
1,420,472
327,435
431,497
2,834,840
Colorado
564,263
665,471
161,290
35,569
33,333
284,753
Connecticut
340,170
125,853
63,980
411,288
58,346
259,427
Delaware
137,141
54,572
2,717
33,401
36,939
417,449
District of Columbia
73,239
87,558
5,927
5,252
24,306
29,243
Florida
3,451,715
2,152,557
796,646
650,681
432,231
1,312,495
Georgia
1,323,463
254,557
102,623
654,930
666,475
549,479
Hawaii
150,515
59,693
60,579
3,239
21,439
362,220
Idaho
248,233
85,015
31,700
23,242
32,429
472,302
Illinois
5,742,748
753,431
110,729
436,311
375,214
4,76,485
Indiana
357,748
524,389
49,484
594,261
135,244
694,398
Iowa
541,548
241,116
37,513
30,148
53,240
531,347
Kansas
413,583
250,458
27,639
32,366
54,387
444,239
Kentucky
735,037
443,395
52,482
227,460
82,469
305,946
Louisiana
642,314
377,423
109,435
37,447
32,391
541,638
Maine
248,348
323,439
6,972
23,577
44,205
399,330
Maryland
740,525
230,146
43,944
342,401
346,740
403,211
Massachusetts
1,343,421
322,538
168,292
385,572
203,568
348,430
Michigan
3,341,540
535,849
252,875
341,454
212,430
2,33,528
Minnesota
735,512
229,312
188,510
36,156
83,351
345,415
Mississippi
451,310
233,233
18,408
39,490
31,245
402,596
Missouri
932,410
234,534
150,867
318,445
262,245
415,341
Montana
147,265
34,453
14,013
34,205
23,488
330,339
Nebraska
268,451
251,594
20,601
34,412
39,945
236,356
Nevada
341,668
84,341
95,315
50,347
22,537
240,340
New Hampshire
245,348
34,379
4,279
25,645
34,752
255,395
New Jersey
4,466,402
532,334
105,541
380,258
451,349
2,049,548
New Maxico
487,595
135,472
60,113
33,237
34,854
344,366
New York
2,360,351
938,133
620,818
344,471
249,742
2,103,234
North Carolina
2,348,139
345,316
161,955
312,436
136,344
1,126,341
North Dakota
305,235
39,340
4,142
3,207
52,439
24,468
Ohio
3,832,439
539,549
300,878
408,543
137,722
1,23,122
Oklahoma
538,348
271,304
59,212
53,453
43,456
275,125
Oregon
551,335
345,649
173,284
36,309
75,343
180,325
Pennsylvania
4,395,478
741,844
618,352
310,440
242,721
1,823,667
Rhode Island
375,377
23,341
57,165
12,332
43,317
151,225
South Carolina
402,384
439,423
64,168
318,445
338,945
621,232
South Dakota
329,469
34,343
9,904
4,535
23,231
125,423
Tennessee
930,539
244,523
364,542
312,738
124,293
547,457
Texas
2,734,337
2,146,340
326,680
413,741
349,422
2,536,423
Utah
356,511
26,422
34,242
31,245
46,142
414,600
Vermont
502,452
45,121
274
38,451
63,308
87,586
Virginia
2,455,319
463,421
28,413
319,499
262,543
843,566
Washington
581,453
239,631
214,449
417,297
153,333
405,550
West Virginia
668,491
125,548
24,041
45,326
43,531
519,676
Wisconsin
360,945
325,740
214,450
435,283
92,877
658,860
Wyoming
44,659
32,040
2,274
4,756
15,600
61,796
Residence Unknown
567,348
31,425
335,461
35,511
59,159
691,306

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