Are you searching for assistance with your prescription drug costs? Are you enrolled in Original Medicare Part A or Part B and currently living in the state of Kentucky? If so, then Medicare’s Part D prescription drug plans are worth researching. Kentucky offers 25 different Part D plans to its residents, courtesy of 14 different third-party health care providers who operate under guidelines established by Medicare.
Once you’re enrolled in Original Medicare, you’ll want to apply to the Part D plan of your choice, either in person at the provider’s facility or online via the company’s website. Don’t delay, as doing so could result in higher monthly premiums or late fees if you miss Medicare’s enrollment deadlines.
Medicare Part D vs. Medicare Advantage
If you are already enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, or you’ve researched prescription drug costs and found that some Advantage plans cover them, there are several additional factors to consider. First, while Medicare Advantage (often called Medicare Part C) and Medicare Part D both cover prescription drugs, only Part D does so exclusively. Medicare Advantage plans may cover some prescription drug costs, but Advantage typically exists to replace Original Medicare Part A and Part B coverage and usually does not offer the full range of drug coverage options available to Part D members.
Aside from the price, availability, and coverage option differences between Advantage and Part D, you should also know that some Advantage plans are not compatible with Part D. If you happen to be enrolled in one of these plans and you then enroll in a Part D plan, your Advantage plan will be discontinued and you will revert back to Original Medicare Part A and Part B coverage. Be sure to consult with your current insurance administrator if you are considering a Part D application and you are already enrolled in Medicare Advantage.
When to sign up
You have three opportunities to sign up for a Medicare Part D plan. You should take the first opportunity, which is called the Initial Enrollment Period. This period starts three months prior to your Original Medicare eligibility date and concludes four months past this date. If you miss this period, you can still enroll during the Annual Election period, which happens every calendar year between October 15th and December 7th.
If you miss both the Initial Enrollment Period and the Annual Election Period, you’re stuck with waiting for Medicare to open up one of its Special Election Periods. These periods are typically offered to help people with hardships such as the loss of prior insurance coverage. If you delay and have to enroll during a Special Election Period, you may be subject to health audits, late fees, and/or higher monthly premium fees that constantly increase over the life of your insurance plan.
What are my choices?
The Medicare Part D services listed in the preceding table are provided in all Kentucky counties. Your county of residence may provide additional plans and services. Contact your local Medicare office for additional details.
Plans are subject to change as contracts are finalized.
Includes contracts/plans as of April 22, 2016. The data does not reflect information for employer-sponsored plans, Part B-only plans, or plans not offering a Part D drug benefit.