Medicare beneficiaries and persons newly eligible for Medicare are advised that the open enrollment period for Medicare Part D began on Oct. 15. Medicare beneficiaries will have until Dec. 7 to join or drop their prescription drug plan, according to a press release from the Office of the Lieutenant Governor.
Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D) offers prescription drug coverage to all Medicare beneficiaries, with some exceptions. Beneficiaries with employer or union health coverage do not need to enroll in a prescription drug plan. If a person joins a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, the spouse or dependents may lose the person’s employer or union health coverage.
To get Medicare prescription drug coverage, Medicare beneficiaries must join a plan run by a private insurance company approved by Medicare. Each year the plan sets the cost and the drugs covered.
In preparation for open enrollment, beneficiaries are encouraged to review their current Medicare coverage to ensure the plan is adequately meeting their needs in terms of cost, coverage and convenience.
Individuals who are satisfied with their current plan do not have to re-enroll. Those not taking advantage of this year’s open enrollment will have to wait until next year to make any changes to their coverage.
For assistance, contact the VI SHIP/Medicare office on St. Thomas at 774-7166 or on St. Croix at 772-7368, 778-6311, ext. 3110 or 7396. Beneficiaries may also call 1-800-MEDICARE or visit www.medicare.gov for more information.