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Important Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Information

What is the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan and what does it cover for you? Have you ever heard of Medicare Plan D or Medicare Part D? This is the part of Medicare that is designed specifically for prescription coverage. This is a newly developed plan enacted on January 1, 2006 that helps ensure that anyone eligible for Medicare can also get assistance with their medical prescriptions.

The Medicare drug plan is designed to help you afford medications that are medically necessary for your health and well being. This is available to all people with Medicare regardless of your income, drug costs, age or type of illness. There are many different programs available under the Medicare prescription drug plan. All are designed to help you save on your prescriptions, however. Since there are many different plans, you have more options at finding what meets your needs the best.

Private companies are setting up these plans for prescription drug coverage so the plans can vary from company to company. Be sure you get all the facts and as much information as possible on a particular plan to help you determine if it is the right one for you. Humana and AARP are some other companies that offer Medicare supplemental insurance options for you.

The costs of the different Medicare prescription plans may vary and so will the coverage, including the type of medicines and drugs which will be covered and excluded. Be sure you are choosing one that meets your needs. If you are unsure what to choose or how to compare the different plans, there is help available for you. You can visit www.medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4226) to get help choosing your Medicare drug plan. You should have also received a handbook called "Medicare & You" in the mail which has great helpful information inside.

The Medicare Plan D, or Medicare prescription plan will cost a monthly premium and usually a percentage of your costs will need to be paid with each prescription up to the yearly limit. If you are concerned about your ability to afford these premiums and co-pays, you should seek Medigap coverage which helps protect you against the fees that Medicare does not pay and you can’t afford to pay. Exact details of this will come from your Medigap insurance provider.

There are certain types of drugs and medications which are excluded from the Medicare prescription drug plan. These include (but are not limited to):

  • Fertility drugs
  • Drugs for erectile dysfunction (ED)
  • Drugs for anorexia, weight loss or weight gain
  • Drugs to relive the common cold
  • Barbiturates
  • Prescription vitamins and minerals (except prenatal vitamins and fluoride prepartions)

Now that you know more about the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan as well as how it has changed over the years, you can see how it can help you. You should never go without an important medicine again because you think that you can’t afford it. There are resources available to help you; all you have to do is make use of them.

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