All people with Medicare are eligible to enroll in Part D, which helps pay prescription costs. Your initial enrollment period lasts seven months and matches your Part B enrollment period (starts three months before and ends three months after your birthday month).
As with Part B, you can decide to opt out of Part D during your initial enrollment period. If you enroll at a later date you may owe a penalty on the premium.
People with retiree benefits or an employer health plan should ask about “creditable coverage” relating to Medicare Part D.
Part D is available in stand-alone plans (used with Original Medicare) or as part of a Medicare Advantage plan. Many plans are available. OSHIIP can give you the information on available plans.
Consider cost, convenience and coverage before choosing a prescription plan. Once you select a plan, you typically must stay with that plan for the calendar year. Penalties for late enrollment may apply.
People with limited incomes may get help paying for Part D coverage through the low income subsidy (LIS) program provided by the Social Security Administration. To get an LIS application, call OSHIIP at 1-800-686-1578.
If your prescriptions are expensive or many, you may enter a coverage gap known as the donut hole. How do you avoid this? Some Part D and Advantage plans cover the donut hole. Such plans usually have higher premiums than plans that do not cover the gap.
Other tips that OSHIIP recommends to avoid, delay or lessen the effect of the donut hole:
- Ask your doctor if a generic drug is available. Generics cost less than brand-name drugs. When you use generics, you lower your total prescription costs and delay entering the donut hole.
- If the drug is new, ask your doctor if a less expensive, older drug is appropriate for your situation.
- Ask your doctor for free samples.
- Buy your prescriptions in bulk or through mail order.
The list below contains the highest rated Medicare Part D prescription drug plans in the state of Ohio. 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.