Enrolling in a Medicare Part D Prescription Plan
QUESTION: My drug costs are going up. I would like to get a Medicare Part D Prescription Plan.
ANSWER: Unless you meet one of the following conditions for an exception, you will have to wait for annual enrollment to enroll in a Medicare Part D Prescription Plan.
Those exceptions are:
- You are new to Medicare
- You recently moved outside your current plan’s service area
- You recently moved in or out of a nursing home
- Certain situations where you receive financial assistance in paying for your premiums
- You have lost or are losing employer coverage
Annual enrollment has been set by the healthcare reform bill to begin October 15, 2010 and run through December 7, 2010. THIS IS A CHANGE FROM PREVIOUS YEARS. Once enrolled, your plan will begin January 01, 2011.
Should you choose to enroll in a Medicare Part D Prescription Plan during annual enrollment and you don’t meet one of the above exceptions, you may be subject to a penalty added to your plan premium. This penalty is 1% of the monthly cost of the average premium in you geographic area, multiplied by the number of months you have gone without enrolling in a plan. For example, if the average premium is $36 per month, 1% of $36.00 is 36 cents. If you have gone without enrolling in a plan for 12 months, $4.32 ( .36 x 12 months ) may be added to your new plan premium each month.
SOURCE: http://www.medicare.gov/, Medicare and You 2010 Handbook; pages 63-67.