October 3, 2008, Newsletter Issue #174: DSHS and Medicare: Dual Enrollment

Tip of the Week

When the government initiated Medicare Part D, they included Medicare prescription drug benefit for eligible persons receiving their medical healthcare coverage through DSHS - Medicaid. Persons receiving Medicaid for healthcare benefits were automatically enrolled in a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plan.

The government allows Medicaid residents to choose a different plan, if the one they receive is not adequate, by May 15, 2006. After that date, the auto-enrolled plan must stay in effect until the next enrollment date in 2007.

Persons who are dual-enrolled - using DSHS Benefits with Medicare D coverage - are required to pay the premium associated with their chosen prescription drug plan, and may also have to pay co-pays for their medications.

Persons may have the premiums automatically deducted from their monthly state checks, or may use automatic withdrawal from their checking accounts. Other payment options may be available on a state by state basis.

For persons with diabetes, the registration and dual-enrollment process is the same, and it is important that you research and register for a plan that will provide the maximum coverage your diabetic medications and supplies.

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