The Medicare Prescription Drug Plans are provided by private companies that sell plans approved by Medicare. These plans are called Medicare Prescription Drug Plans or PDPs.
You can identify an approved plan by the MedicareRx logo. All people new to Medicare have a seven month window to enroll in a Medicare Part D drug plan—three months before, the month of, and three months after their Medicare becomes effective. Remember, the month you enroll will affect the month your PDP is effective.
All people with Medicare are eligible to enroll in a PDP, regardless of income or assets; however, unless they are new to Medicare or are entitled to a Special Enrollment Period, they must enroll during the Annual Election Period which is October 15 through December 7. Options and features will vary from plan to plan such as drug lists with generic and brand name medications, drug prior approval requirements, and deductible and co-payment structures. You can only select one Medicare PDP.
In Alaska there are dozens of approved companies offering PDPs. Some of the companies offer plans that have national coverage, which is especially important for beneficiaries who have residences in more than one state.
Here are some points to keep in mind when choosing a Part D plan:
- Because costs and coverage limits vary widely, you should compare plans and select the one plan that best meets your individual needs—such as, all your prescriptions are on the plan’s list of coverage drugs, you can use your preferred pharmacy, and the premium is affordable.
- Formularies are important to understand. These are list of medications that each plan covers.
- Pay attention to the Part D Coverage Gap (also called the “Donut Hole”). You reach the Gap when the total price of the medications that both you and the insurance company have paid reaches $2,930.00. You will be responsible for 50% of brand-name drugs between $2,930 and $6,657. Once you have reached $4700 in out-of-pocket costs, Medicare will pay approximately 95% of your drug costs, and you will pay 5%, for the rest of that year.
Also, there is assistance available for people with Medicare who have limited incomes and resources. If they quality, they can receive assistance with premiums, deductibles and co-payments for their prescriptions. If you apply for extra help and receive a letter stating that you do not qualify for assistance, you are still eligible to enroll in a PDP—but you will have the responsibility to pay the premiums, deductibles and co-payments.
For assistance in understanding and enrolling in a Medicare PDP, you can visit the Medicare Web site at www.Medicare.gov or contact Alaska’s Medicare Information Office at 1-800-478-6065 or from Anchorage 269-3680.
The list below contains the highest rated Medicare Part D prescription drug plans in the state of Alaska. It is for informational purposes only and some listings may be inaccurate or missing. The list was provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), but due to the variance in plans based on county, city, and region, some options may not be available in your location.