Getting a Medicare Part D supplemental plan can be like entering a maze, and you can easily make a mistake in choosing a plan wich you’ll be stuck with for a year until the next enrollment period comes along.
It will benefit any enrollee to discuss their options with an insurance agent prior to purchase. Every plan (tere are almost 1,500 of them) offers much the same benefits, but differ as far as their formulary, or covered drug choices are concerned.
Factors that should be considered when selecting a Part D plan include the following:
Financial strength of the Medicare D provider, amount of coverage and the plan's cost. Most people enrolled in a Medicare plan don't research the strength and stability of the insurance company first. It is easy to research online or ask a reputable agent on the most financially secure insurers before you buy.
The generic and brand name drugs available on the plan's formulary. Each provider will produce its own list of drugs available on their own particular formulary. These can vary greatly between plans and many secors agree that this is a fundamental flaw within the Medicare legislation which need correcting.
Mailing prescriptions direct. This can save enrollees a lot of time, money and effort. Most Part D providers offer this option, but it is worth checking out with your provider before purchasing a plan, particularly if you live in a secluded area or have mobility issues.
Penalty for late enrollment. Should you miss the Medicare open enrollment period when purchasing your Part D plan, you will be subject to a late enrollment penalty. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services will calculate your charges and forward them to your insurer who will add them to your premium costs. They will also contact you to notify you of the exact charges that you have incurred.
Preferred methods of payment. There are as many options to pay as are commonly available, including bank drafts, social security deductions, credit/debit card and personal check. Select the methos of payment that is usually the least likely to compromise your financial situation. Insurance agentts tend to recommend payment with bank draft, so payments are less likely to be overlooked.
Annual enrollment periods for Part D of Medicare begin on November 15th and ends December 31st. The new Part D plans' campaigning period begins a month earlier on October 1st. This is the time when it is best to review the plans available and compare premium rates. Once enrolled, coverage begins on the following January 1st.
If you already have coverage for Medicare Part D, it is not necessary to enroll in a new plan. Provided you are content with your Medicare coverage, you can simply renew your plan and carry on for another year. It pays to check whether there are any changes to your plan in the following year with your Medicare agent.