A healthy life is a better life. Medicare strives to make sure you can get the health care and prescription coverage you need and the quality of care you deserve.
Medicare prescription drug coverage is insurance that covers both brand-name and generic prescription drugs at participating pharmacies in your area. Medicare prescription drug coverage provides protection for people who have very high drug costs or experience unexpected prescription drug bills in the future.
Everyone who currently has Medicare is eligible for prescription drug coverage. This is regardless of income, health status, or current prescription expenses.
Most people obtain their prescription drug coverage as a part of their overall medical insurance plan. Most medical plans include some form of prescription drug coverage, and some states actually require employers to include this coverage in the medical plans that they offer to employees. Whether purchased independently or in combination with other coverage, the available types of coverage are similar.
Another type of coverage that is available is provided by an HMO (or Health Maintenance Organization). This is a fairly tight-knit group of health care providers that furnish health care on a prepaid basis. The primary difference with this type of coverage is that you usually pay some form of co-pay amount for your prescriptions. You are not required to pay the full amount as with traditional coverage, only the co-pay. Your out-of-pocket expense may well be the same as with traditional coverage, but you do not have to pay the entire amount up-front and file for reimbursement. Another difference with this type of coverage is that you will be limited to pharmacies that participate in the HMO.
PPOs (or Preferred Provider Organizations) are similar to HMOs, but much more loosely associated. Prescription drug coverage with a PPO will be very similar to that of an HMO – you will likely pay some co-pay amount for each prescription that you receive. However, you will have a wider range of pharmacies to choose from with this type of coverage.
Another type of service that you may see advertised as prescription drug coverage is not actually an insurance plan. These are discount programs that, usually for a small monthly fee, issue a prescription drug card that qualifies you for discounts on your prescription purchases. This type of service does not usually cover all of your prescriptions. Depending on who issues the card, this discount may be limited to certain drug manufacturers, pharmacies or to certain types of drugs. While these programs can help if you are without prescription drug, they should not be considered as a replacement for insurance coverage.
Medicare prescription drug coverage benefits depend on the kind of health care coverage you have now. There are two ways to get Medicare prescription drug coverage. You can join a Medicare prescription drug plan or you can join a Medicare Main Advantage Plan or other Medicare Health Plan that offers drug coverage. Whatever plan you choose, Medicare drug coverage will help you by covering brand-name and generic drugs at pharmacies that are convenient for you.
Medicare prescription drug coverage provides greater peace of mind by protecting you from unexpected drug expenses. Even if you don’t use a lot of generic drugs now, you should still consider joining. Most people need prescription drugs to stay healthy, as they age. Joining now means protection from unexpected prescription drug bills in the future.
If you have limited income and resources you may also qualify for additional help. Medicare will pay for almost all of your prescription drug costs.
Medicare is your partner in staying healthy. They are committed to providing you with benefits that meet your needs and the information that can help you make informed health care decisions.