ALBANY — If you are age 65 or older, now is the time to review your Medicare prescription plan and change it if it is no longer meeting your needs. “Open Enrollment” began October 15 and goes until December 7. A Medicare Part D prescription drug plan is chosen based on the medications you are taking and becomes active January 1, 2021. The monthly premiums can range from $30 to more than $100 per month. Low-income individuals may be eligible for certain programs that would pay for the Part D monthly premium.
At age 65, most people are eligible for Medicare A & B and for a Medicare Part D prescription plan. I have seen many people 65 years or older decide not to sign up for the Medicare Part D plan because, at the time, they are not taking any prescription medications. I know, you are thinking, “Why pay a monthly premium if you are not taking any medication?” Here’s why: if you are eligible and do not sign up for a Part D plan when you enroll in Medicare A & B, there will be a monthly, ongoing late enrollment penalty fee if you later decide to sign up.
When you turn 65 and qualify for Medicare A & B, your insurance will pay 80% of most medical care. Typically, the other 20% is covered by the person themselves after a deductible is met (private pay), or it can be billed to a Medigap or supplemental insurance.
Insurance can be confusing. There are so many rules and exceptions. Unless you work with an insurance specialist or have had training, there is room for making a costly mistake. This time of year people of retirement age tend to be bombarded with ads for Medicare Advantage plans that misleadingly promise coverage for many extras at a cheaper price. Before signing on any dotted line, it is best if you check with a health insurance information specialist at your nearest Office for the Aging. This service is free.
So don’t wait. The deadline is December 7. If you are overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, please call me for assistance.
Meantime, drop me a line—let me know what’s on your mind.
NYCAMH’s Farm Partners program provides free, confidential counseling and problem-solving assistance to farmers, farm families and farm workers. For information, call 800-343-7527 or e-mail Kathy.email@example.com
NYCAMH, a program of Bassett Healthcare Network, enhances agricultural and rural health by preventing and treating occupational injury.
Farm Partners Case Manager
The New York Center for Agricultural Medicine & Health – NYCAMH
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