When you become eligible for Medicare, we recommend that you enroll in Part D Prescription Drug coverage. Many Part D plans can help alleviate the costs of your medications; however, we understand that for some people, the cost of a plan, as well as the medication costs can be expensive. Before rejecting a Part D plan outright, we suggest that you investigate whether you qualify for Extra Help through the Medicare and Medicaid Programs.
Typically, individuals or couples who qualify for Extra Help must meet the following criteria:
*Resources: checking and savings accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and IRA
Extra Help will:
Assist you with PDP premiums, yearly deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments
- Eliminate the coverage gap, or “donut hole”
- Eliminate the late enrollment penalty
- Allow you to change your Part D plan at anytime
If you are already receiving Medicaid, you are automatically eligible for Extra Help. If you do not automatically qualify for Extra Help, you may apply at any time by:
- Calling your Social Security Office
- Calling your local Medicaid Office
- Visiting ssa.gov/extrahelp and clicking on “see if you qualify for extra help and apply” or follow this link
Once you have received this notification of eligibility, provide this to your plan so you can avoid paying higher costs.
Typically, you can expect generic drugs to cost $3.30 (2017) and brand name drugs to cost $8.25 (2017). However, be mindful that the types of medications that are covered will vary from plan to plan. Our agents can also assist you with researching a drug plan best suited to your needs.
What if I am not eligible for Extra Help?
Even if you do not qualify for Extra Help, we understand that the costs of medications may be steep. Medicare recommends looking into the following options:
- Speak to your doctor about generic alternatives or cheaper brand name options
- Choose mail order options for your medications
- Speak with the drug company that makes your medication and see if they offer discounts or coupons
- Work with your agent to find a more affordable drug plan