The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act added prescription drug coverage to Medicare beginning in January 2006. This act allowed people on Medicare to get insurance to pay for part of their prescription drugs regardless of income or preexisting conditions.
Basically, there are two types of prescription drug plans. One is a prescription drug plan(PDP) that stands alone and allows Medicare recipients to keep their Medicare A& B plan where they pay a fee for services as they are provided.
The other is the Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plan(MA-PD) which provides comprehensive coverage.
Private companies provide various plans. Individuals have to assess their needs and select the plan that best meets their needs. Plans vary in the costs of premiums, deductibles, and co-payments. They also vary in their lists of approved drugs and providers.
All Medicare recipients are eligible for prescription drug coverage. The open period is between November 15th and December 31st each year with the new plan taking effect on January 1st following the open enrollment period. Enrollment and changes must be made during this time.
A new health care law awards a $250 rebate check to those with Medicare Part D as an attempt to offset the “donut hole” where recipients are covered until they reach a certain amount and not again until they spend an additional out of pocket amount. In 2011, there will be a 50% discount for name-brand drug purchases covered by Medicare D.
Does Medicare pay for prescription drugs? The answer is yes, through private insurance companies. You just have to find the right plan for you!