When it comes to deciding whether or not to enroll in a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan, beneficiaries must take a few things in to consideration. One, enrollment in a Medicare Part D drug plan is not mandatory. Two, if a beneficiary is eligible for a Part D plan and is currently on medication, then in most cases it makes sense to enroll. Why pay the full retail costs for medication when the purpose of the Part D program is to offer drug coverage for beneficiaries eligible for Medicare? Three, enrolling in a Part D plan during a beneficiary’s open enrollment eliminates any potential penalties down the road.
So let’s say a beneficiary has decided to enroll in a Part D drug plan. What are the proper steps he or she must take to enroll? For starters, a beneficiary has to wait until his or her initial enrollment period (IEP) which is seven months long – three months prior to the month of eligibility, the month of eligibility and three months after. Please note that different rules apply for annual enrollment period (AEP) and special enrollment period (SEP) .
In order to enroll in a Medicare Part D drug plan. a beneficiary must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B. Unlike, Medicare Part A and Part B that provide
hospitalization and medical expenses coverage from Medicare, Medicare Part D is a drug program, but Medicare doesn’t offer anything. A beneficiary must find a private insurance carrier that is contracted with Medicare Part D to provide Prescription Drug Plans. For example, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois provide two Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans – the Value Plan and the Plus Plan.
Once a beneficiary determines which insurance carrier’s plan he or she wants to enroll in based on some variables such as monthly premium, deductible (if any), copayments and formulary coverage it is time to sit down and enroll. At this point it is beneficial to contact a licensed insurance specialist that is certified with Medicare Part D. Insurance specialists can guide a beneficiary through the process by first educating about Medicare Part D and then highlighting the plan options to ensure the proper coverage on an individual basis.
Senior Services of Illinois, Inc (SSI) insurance specialists are licensed and certified with both Medicare Part D and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois’ Blue MedicareRX. SSI insurance specialists undergo yearly certification training to keep updated on the changes laid out by Medicare Part D. They have helped numerous benficiaries find the proper plan that fits their needs and budgets since Medicare Part D came into existence in 2006.