In 2019, 89% of retirement aged adults reported they were currently taking a prescription medication. As we approach and surpass retirement age, prescription drugs often become an essential factor of remaining healthy. In COVID-19 times, it is even more important now than ever that we continue to have access to these necessary medications. As we stare down what will likely be a lasting economic recession as a result of the virus, let’s look at one way you can assess your current prescription drug coverage and potentially pursue a better option via Medicare in the coming weeks.
Part D is Medicare’s prescription drug coverage. Americans become eligible for Part D coverage at the age of 65 and can elect to enroll in the coverage annually from October 15 through December 7, 2020.
If you are currently in an employer’s Part D plan, comparing Medicare’s Part D coverage with your current plan can prove difficult. Thankfully, your employer or union that provides your prescription drug coverage is required to provide you with an annual notice of creditable coverage under the 2003 Medicare Modernization Act.
What is a notice of creditable coverage? In short, it is a requirement that your employer plan disclose whether that prescription drug coverage is expected to pay as much as Medicare Part D does. Plans that are expected to pay as much as Part D are deemed creditable and those that are not are deemed noncreditable.
What are credible requirements? Coverage is expected to pay as much as the standard Medicare drug plan
- Deductible: $435.00
- Initial Coverage Limit: $4,020
- Out of Pocket Threshold: $6,350
Employers or entities are required to provide you with a notice of creditable coverage prior to the start of the Part D Annual Election Period – or no later than October 14. Retiree plans can include less than credible coverage — but they must disclose the shortfall allowing individuals to make a change during the Annual Election Period (AEP) to one of credible coverage. Plans that do not carry credible coverage can ultimately cost individuals the Part D penalty for not carrying credible coverage. This deadline is fast approaching, and you will soon have to decide whether Medicare Part D is a better fit than your current employer plan. As always, Bayside Medicare is here to help walk you through that process and answer any other questions you may have about Medicare coverage.
Stay safe and be well.
About Dayna Schafer
Dayna is a Certified Medicare Insurance Planner® and a member of the Rise Community. Her agency is located in St. Petersburg, FL where she has helped thousands of individuals and Medicare beneficiaries understand their benefits by ‘Making it Make Sense’. Since 2002, Dayna has certified with triple the average amount of insurers in an effort to relentlessly seek out the right fit for her client’s healthcare needs