Medicare Changes

Improvements in 2006-2007 to the CMS Medicare drug program

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are the United States government agencies that control the Medicare coverage program. Medicare is a provider of health insurance for the elderly over 65 and for the younger generation if they meet certain criteria.

From the 1st of January 2006, a new drug plan included for all CMS Medicare members. This came to pass due to private interest and insurance practices collaborating with CMS Medicare. Through this venture reduced prices on drugs was now possible. Members of Medicare should always research and seek advice on which plan is best suited to them.

Unlike the Medicare Part A coverage, this new plan does not come free. New CMS Medicare members will have to pay a monthly charge as well as part of their prescription drugs. The part payment is dependant on the drug program.

As a standard all new Medicare drug plans must supply a minimum amount of cover. You can receive higher plans with more coverage but they are more expensive. The charge of the drug plan depends on how much the member pays on their plan and what pharmacies the CMS Medicare beneficiary can utilize.

Between the 15th November 2005 and the 15th May 2006 CMS Medicare members were able to join a drug plan. For the members that joined on or before the 31st December 2005, coverage then started from the 1st January 2006. There is a chance to join a new Medicare drug plan or alter an existing one, every year between the 15th November and the 31st December

Even if you do not require or use very little prescription drugs, it is still worthwhile joining a CMS Medicare drug program. This is because if you did not join by the 15th May 2006 you could be charged an extra penalty payment.

If you have problems paying for your drug plan, CMS Medicare offers a financial aid. Using this you may get some or all of your monthly drug plan payments removed. Only certain circumstances will be acknowledged. It is possible to be given more aid if you are seriously needy.

If your current employer offers a decent drug plan that is the same or better than Medicare, you can stay with your employer. If that plan happens to end you can still join the Medicare drug plan penalty free if you apply within 63 days. Be warned though if you drop out of your employer’s plan, it may not be possible to be reinstated in to their plan again.

There is tons of information for you to refer to, so that you do not make the wrong choice of drug plan. You may have already received a handbook from Medicare, “titled Medicare & You 2006.” Access to resources like the CMS Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder can also be found at Your Security Office will also be happy to give you free advice.

Although it’s a daunting task finding the right CMS Medicare drug plan for you, with a little help from the resources online, the handbook, friends, family and Social Security, this should be no trouble. Then all you have to do is find the best plan that includes the drugs you need, minimize your costs and gives you total coverage.

Entry Filed under: Updates

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