Medicare History and Resources

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Medicare Part D Coverage Benefits All Enrolled

As a society, our use of prescription drugs continues to rise at a furious frequency. The government has taken note of this behavioral trend and in 2006, responded with a new addition to Medicare. Medicare Part D, also known as Prescription Drug Coverage, is an attempt to help those with high prescription drug costs. After a person enrolls in an available Medicare Plan D option, their insurance will then cover part of their costs for both brand-name and generic prescription drugs at pharmacies in their area regardless of current resources, health condition, or prescription expenses they have already acquired.

Although Medicare Part D Plans will still involve a monthly premium, a yearly deductible, and you paying a part of the cost of your prescriptions, this healthcare coverage option is still very attractive. Why? Well, as we age, most people need prescription drugs to stay healthy. For most people, joining once they are eligible means protection from unexpected prescription drug bills in the future.

As either a guardian of an aging loved one or as one who is newly eligible for Medicare, it is important to keep in mind that many of these prescription drugs enable one be more active, and healthy. So, even if one is not riddled with medications currently, Plan D coverage is still a necessity for the future. And, if you already have very high drugs costs, you do not need to fear that you will be turned away from this healthcare plan, or face higher Medicare Plan premiums.

Now that you understand the importance of Medicare Part D, here is a bit of information for how this section of Medicare coverage works, and how much this health coverage costs. Medicare Part D works with both Medicare Plans A, and Medicare Plan B. Or, for those who prefer, you can join a Medicare Advantage plan that offers a Part D Prescription Drug Plan. In general, Medicare Part D will become more beneficial to the enrollee as prescription drug costs increase; this increase is already being noticed. However, when you pay for drugs within the Prescription Drug Plan, you will benefit from discounted drug rates, even though you are responsible for paying some of the cost under your Plan.

The one downside that has yet to be reconciled for those who have Part D benefits is a coverage gap, “doughnut hole,” which requires beneficiaries to pay the entire cost of their prescriptions once they reach the initial coverage limit ($2,830 in 2010). But, if you then exceed $6,440 you will again be covered under Plan D’s ‘catastrophic coverage’. Sadly in 2007, an estimated 3.4 million Part D enrollees reached the coverage gap; however some coverage is still a better option.

While there are still some hurdles for those enrolled in Medicare Prescription Drug Insurance, Part D provides seniors with the first comprehensive prescription drug benefit ever offered under the Medicare program. And, no matter how you cut it, this is still the most significant improvement to senior health care in nearly half a century.

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