Medicare drug plan changes?
Medicare drug plans in 2012 are generally like any other year with the exception of the varying costs on certain plans. Regardless, there are two ways to get Medicare prescription drug coverage:
Medicare prescription drug plans (sometimes called “PDPs”) and Medicare Advantage Plans (like an HMO or PPO) or other Medicare health plans that offer Medicare prescription drug coverage.
The Medicare PDPs add drug coverage to Original Medicare, some Medicare cost plans, some Medicare private fee-for-service (PFFS) plans, and Medicare medical savings account (MSA) plans.
In those Medicare Advantage plans and other Medicare health plans that cover prescription drugs, all of Parts A and B are covered, along with prescription drug coverage (Part D), through these plans. Medicare Advantage Plans with prescription drug coverage are sometimes called “MA-PDs.” Enrollment in Parts A and B are required to join a Medicare Advantage Plan.
Some Medicare changes
Some of the changes for the Medicare drug plans in 2012 involve an earlier enrollment period from October 15 to December 7, 2011 as well as various cost differences. For instance, the coverage gap will be $4,700 instead of $4,550 from the previous year.
The actual drug plan costs will vary depending on the following: the consumer’s prescriptions and whether they are on the plan’s formulary (drug list), the plan chosen, whether the consumer’s pharmacy is in the plan’s network, and whether Extra Help is received paying any of the Part D costs.
What is Medicare part D?
Medicare part D, also known as Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage, simply covers all purchased prescription drugs. Two ways to sign up for this includes enrolling for Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs) alongside Original Medicare (parts A and B) or signing up for a Medicare Advantage plan or any other Medicare health plans that cover prescription drugs.
Medicare PDPs generally add drug coverage to Original Medicare, some Medicare cost plans, some Medicare private fee-for-service (PFFS) plans, and Medicare medical savings account (MSA) plans. Most Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage with complete coverage of parts A and B; in order to receive an MA plan, enrollment in parts A and B are required.
What is the cost of Medicare part D?
In Medicare drug coverage, certain payments are to be made throughout the year. They include a monthly premium, a yearly deductible, copayments or coinsurance, and those in the coverage gap. The monthly premium for the drug plan goes along with that of Medicare part B; a Medicare Advantage plan or any cost plan the cover prescription drugs may cover a set amount of that premium.
The yearly deductible is the amount to be paid each year for all prescriptions before the Medicare drug plan begins to pay its share of those covered drugs, which varies between drug plans; some of them may not even carry such a deductible.
Medicare 2012 handbook
Medicare and You 2012 is a handbook that is officially made by the US government and elaborates about many aspects of Medicare that one may need to know for the year.
Topics generally include the basics of Medicare, when to enroll for certain Medicare plans, how much these plans cost, what services are covered by these Medicare plans, possible choices to make when signing up for Medicare, assistance available to pay for any remaining services and other programs, all the rights and protection a member of Medicare has access to, and any resources and tools to use.
What the Medicare hand book offers
The handbook also offers many new things that Medicare may take a part of in 2012. One important thing to note includes the fact that the entire open enrollment period is earlier, running from October 15 to December 7, 2011. Also, the new special enrollment period allows the ability to switch to a Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Prescription Drug Plan that has a 5-star rating at any time during the year.
Medicare will allow for more preventative services like screening and counseling for alcohol abuse, depression, and obesity. Members may also qualify for savings on brand-name and generic drugs if they reach the coverage gap in their Medicare prescription drug coverage. Medicare will also take more action in the prevention of any possible fraud, waste, and abuse towards their clients.