November 24, 2006, Newsletter Issue #78: Avoiding the Pitfalls of Medicare Part D

Tip of the Week

With so much in the news about Medicare Part D, it may be difficult to figure out fact from fiction with the medicare drug plan.

Here are a few tips to help you avoid some of the pitfalls of Medicare Part D:

1. Many insurance companies offering

Medicare Part D are also offering free

informational sessions. It's a good idea to attend these sessions, but also be aware of the sales pitch. You will get information about Medicare Part D that will enhance your own search. Don't stop with the informational session - look for yourself.

2. When choosing a Part D plan, it is not a sure thing that the

Plan your friends and family are on will also be right for you. Medicare Part D is truly individualized based on the medications that you take

3. Some pharmacies are "suggesting" that one of the plans that the pharmacy prefers will be the right one for you, and "recommend" that you just go with one of them. However, pharmacies cannot recommend Medicare Part D plans. Going along with your pharmacy's "suggestion," simply because they like a few specific plans, may end up costing you more than it should.

4. Registering late will cost you. The deadline for registration for a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Benefit Plan is May 15, 2006. If you register late, you are subject to a significant penalty that you will pay for the rest of you life.

5. Don't throw away the letter from your current prescription drug plan. Your prescription drug provider is required to send you a letter indicating whether their drug coverage is equal to or better than the Medicare D Standard Plan. If it is, you do not need to consider a Medicare D Plan, at this time, but HANG ONTO THE LETTER. If your coverage ends, in the future, and you do not have the letter, you will be subject to the late registration penalties.

Choosing a Medicare Part D plan is not something that should be done lightly, as you are bound to the plan you choose for one year.

Be careful and informed about the Plans, and pick the one that provides the best prescription drug coverage for you.

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