Medicare Plan D - A Prescription For Confusion

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Medicare Plan D - A Prescription For Confusion

Medicare, the health insurance program administered by the U.S. government, covers citizens who are at least 65 years old. Persons with certain disabilities are also eligible. For example, those that suffer from End Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or transplant), or are disabled, are eligible even if younger than 65.

The Medicare program is run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) department. The CMS administers the four parts of the Medicare insurance program: Medicare Plan A, Medicare Plan B, Medicare Plan C, and Medicare Plan D.

Plan A was part of the original 1965 Medicare legislation and provided hospital coverage. Plan B, also part of the original, offered optional medical insurance for services such as doctor visits. In 1997, Part C of Medicare allowed enrollees to get their Part A/B coverage from private health insurance providers. It is the 2006 Medicare Plan D that was passed most recently, and that provided a great deal of confusion to those already enrolled in Medicare.

Medicare Plan D provided an optional prescription drug benefit insurance program. Those who chose to enroll in Medicare Plan D would pay reduced prices on some or all of their prescriptions. The confusion resulting from Medicare Plan D originates from several sources.

Medicare Plan D offered this prescription drug coverage through many individual health insurance companies. Each potential Medicare Plan D enrollee has to wade through a dizzying array of choices and prices in order to choose a suitable plan.

Each of the different prescription drug plans offered through Medicare Plan D generally covered different prescription drugs. Potential enrollees must consider the prescription drugs they were taking, plus any they might need in the future.

To compound the confusion, the many plans offered by Medicare Plan D are often specific to a particular location and sometimes only to certain pharmacies in that location. Those considering Medicare Plan D coverage have to be sure that their prescriptions are covered by a local pharmacy.

On top of all those factors, most of the Medicare Plan D coverage options have different costs. Those needing Medicare Plan D drug insurance must consider their budgets, which are often limited or fixed.

The Medicare Plan D coverage provides useful prescription drug coverage to seniors who often require regular prescription medication. However, the chore of sorting through the drugs covered, locations covered, and differing prices often perplexed seniors.

Those senior citizens (and their families) who need help choosing among the complex choices of Medicare Plan D can call their local Social Security office, visit, or possibly obtain help from their existing pharmacist.


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