This is a brief introduction to the cost of Part D Medicare, describing the advantages and the responsibilities of the recipient.
Medicare Part A and Part B are supplemented with plans known as Medigap. These plans are designed to close the “gap’ left for medical expenses that traditional Medicare does not cover. These Medigap Plan are labeled with letters C through L.
Medicare Part D is for those seniors who are covered by either Medicare Part A or B to pay for prescription drugs. No physical exam is required, and no one is denied coverage regardless of how many prescriptions for medication they currently have. Seniors who get their drugs through Medicaid must sign up for a Medicare drug plan as soon as they are eligible for Medicare benefits. Those who have a good drug plan in place, perhaps through a current or former employer, will not need to pay the cost of Part D Medicare.
Seniors will need to check and see when their open enrollment period is. This period is different for individual situations. Those who delay will have a penalty added to the cost of Part D Medicare monthly premiums for the rest of their benefits period. Each year, the cost of Part D Medicare reaches a ceiling. After this, the senior must pay out-of-pocket for drugs they need. This gap left before benefits begin again is called the “doughnut hole.” This amount has been slowly changing to close the gap of no coverage for prescription benefits. In 2011, this ceiling was $2,840. After the cost of Part D Medicare pays this amount, the copay is 50 percent of generic drugs and 93 percent of brand name drugs. By the year 2020, this gap will close to 25 percent of the cost for any drug.
There are situations where seniors will not have to be in the “doughnut hole”. Some may qualify for extra help through state pharmacy assistance programs.