It's not too late.
Open Enrollment for Medicare Part D continues through Dec. 31. For those currently in a Part D plan this is an important time to re-evaluate your current drug plan in light of changes that will take place for the coming year.
Each plan is required to send its Annual Notice of Change to current plan enrollees. This will inform the enrollee of any major changes to expect for the coming year. To be certain medications will continue to be covered, it is good to review this notice carefully.
Medicare beneficiaries should also refer to the Medicare and You Handbook for 2008, which will be mailed in late October and will contain all the drug plans and Medicare Health plan options available in Minnesota for 2008.
Some fast facts for Minnesota in 2008 that was provided by Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services include:
There will be 52 Medicare Prescription Drug Plans available in 2008 and 30 of the plans will have $0 deductibles.
Three of these prescription plans have premiums less than $30, with the lowest monthly premium of $13.90, for beneficiaries who currently do not use any prescription drugs and want to be enrolled in a drug plan.
There are already 128,838 people with Medicare who qualify for extra help with prescription drug costs.
Sixteen of these prescription drug plans have a premium amount of zero dollars for people who qualify for the full extra help. People may apply for extra help by calling Social Security at (800) 772-1213, or by visiting the local Social Service office in Brainerd.
The staff and volunteers of the Senior LinkAge Line use a tool on the official Medicare Web site to help people evaluate drug plans based on the list of medications needed. The Web site tool will reveal the cost of those medications in each plan offered in Minnesota. The tool also can give an indication as to whether the individual will reach the donut hole or not.
Anyone can access the Web site tool at www.Medicare.gov.
Medicare beneficiaries or caregivers may call the Senior LinkAge Line at (800) 333-2433 to request a private appointment to have the process completed for an individual. Staff and volunteers are prepared to offer some counseling on which plan will be the most cost effective. The Senior LinkAge Line does not market any insurance product.
Appointments are available in all 14 counties served by the Central Minnesota Council on Aging, and in many cases the face/face service is available in the community. This service also can be provided over the telephone.
KATHIE PHILLIPS is a senior advocate for the Senior LinkAge Line.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.