Medicare Prescription Drug (Part D) Open Enrollment Season & Extra Help

Open season for Medicare Part D (Prescription Drug) coverage is October 15 to December 7, 2011.   Due to your changing needs and annual plan changes, review your existing policy.   Plans for 2012 are at www.medicare.gov under the “Formulary Finder – 2012 Plan Data” link.  You will need a list of your medications to compare plans.  Anyone on Medicare can purchase a Part D plan.  Unlike Medicare Part A (Hospital) or Part B (Medical), Part D policies are sold by private firms.  Shop for the plan that best suits your personal needs.  Couples can have different plans.

 People with limited income and resources might be eligible for “Extra Help” to help pay for Part D premiums, deductibles, and co-payments.   To qualify, you must be on Medicare and have 2011 annual income not over $16,335 for an individual or $22,065 for a married couple living together.  Not all income counts so you might get some help even with higher income.  The 2011 resource limit is not over $12,640 for an individual or $25,260 for a married couple living together.  Resources include bank accounts, stocks, and bonds but not the house you live in or your car.  Apply for Extra Help by calling the SSA national number, 800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), or your local office.  Details and an online application are in the Medicare section of www.socialsecurity.gov.  You can apply for Extra Help any time. 

 For information about Medicare coverage, visit www.medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227; TTY 1-877-486-2048).