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Posts Tagged ‘Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage’

The decision to get Medicare prescription drug coverage depends on how you pay for your drugs now and how you get your Medicare coverage. Most people with Medicare pay for drugs and get their Medicare in one of five ways:

  • Original Medicare only, or Original Medicare and a Medigap (‘Supplement’) Policy without drug coverage. The new Medicare drug coverage will cover half of the costs for you if you have this kind of coverage now. Enhanced options are available that provide more coverage.
  • Original Medicare and a Medigap (‘Supplement’) Policy with drug coverage. The new Medicare drug coverage will generally provide much more comprehensive coverage at a lower cost.
  • Retiree or union coverage. In most cases, people with good retiree or union coverage can continue to get it, with new financial support from Medicare.
  • Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO) or other Medicare Health Plan, which already include drug coverage and other extra benefits.
  • Dual coverage from Medicare with Medicaid drug coverage. These people will automatically get comprehensive prescription drug coverage from Medicare, starting on January 1.

NOTE: If you have limited income and resources, but you don’t have Medicaid, you may qualify for extra help that may pay for about 95% of your drug costs. Visit Extra Help for People with Limited Income and Resources for more information.

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Medicare prescription drug coverage is insurance that helps people pay for prescription drugs at participating pharmacies. It is available to everyone who has Medicare. It provides protection if you pay high drug costs or have unexpected prescription drug bills. It doesn’t cover all costs. You have to pay part of the cost of prescription drugs. Most people also have to pay a monthly premium and a yearly deductible for the coverage.

Private companies provide Medicare prescription drug coverage. You choose the drug plan you like best. Whether or not you should sign up for the coverage depends on how good your current coverage is. You need to sign up for coverage as soon as you are eligible for Medicare. Otherwise, you might have to pay a penalty.

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