Prescription drug coverage first became available through Medicare starting January 1, 2006. A person may get Medicare prescription drug coverage by joining a standalone Medicare prescription drug plan or by joining a Medicare Advantage plan that includes the Medicare prescription drug coverage. Like Medicare Advantage plans, the Medicare prescription drug coverage is provided through private companies contracted with Medicare.
The copayments, coinsurance, deductible, drugs covered and monthly premium will vary from plan to plan.
It is important to note that if you do not obtain Medicare prescription drug coverage when you are first eligible and you do not have other creditable prescription drug coverage, you may have to pay a Late Enrollment Penalty if you join a plan at a later date.
People with limited income and assets (including your savings and stocks, but not counting your home) may qualify to receive Extra Help to pay for Medicare prescription drug costs. People with Medicare who qualify for Extra Help assistance will only pay a small copayment for each prescription they need; and depending on income and asset levels, the premiums and deductibles may be covered or lowered. Also if a person qualifies for the Extra Help assistance, there is no Late Enrollment Penalty.
Some people who have Medicare may automatically qualify for the Extra Help assistance if they are also receiving full Medicaid coverage or get help from their state Medicaid program with paying their Medicare Part B premiums (through a Medicare Savings Program) or if they get Supplemental Security Income benefits.
Medicare beneficiaries may be eligible for the federal Extra Help low income subsidy program if they have limited income and resources. The Extra Help program can increase cost savings by paying for all or part of the monthly premiums, annual deductibles and provide lower prescription co-payments under a Medicare prescription drug plan. To qualify for Extra help the annual income must be limited to $16,335 for an individual ($22,065 for a married couple living together). Your resources/assets must not be more than $12,640 for an individual ($25,260 for a married couple living together). The assets/resources do not include a primary residence or a vehicle. If you believe someone you know may qualify for the Extra Help program, please encourage them to apply on-line at www.socialsecurity.gov or contact our office at 800-443-9354 (toll free in N.C.), and we may assist them with completing the on-line application process or send them a paper application.
The list below contains the highest rated Medicare Part D prescription drug plans in the state of North Carolina. 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.