New Jersey residents who are looking for assistance with their prescription drug coverage may be happy to know that there are 22 Medicare Part D prescription drug plans for sale by 12 different health care providers. To take advantage of these plans, you’ll need to make sure that you are enrolled in Original Medicare Part A and Part B. Then you may sign up for the Part D plan of your choice, either by filling out an application on the provider company’s website or visiting them in person for a traditional paper application.
Whichever application method you choose, don’t delay. It’s costly if you do: You may be subject to health audits, higher monthly premium fees, and late penalties.
Medicare Part D vs. Medicare Advantage
Another option besides Medicare Part D is a Medicare Advantage plan. These plans are also sold and serviced by third-party health firms under the direction of the federal government. They replace Original Medicare Part A and Part B coverage, as well as offer additional extras that sometimes include prescription drug coverage. You’ll need to compare the various Part D and Advantage plans being sold in New Jersey to determine the best fit for your individual needs. Keep in mind that some Advantage plans do not play nice with Part D prescription drug coverage. If you are enrolled in one of these Advantage plans and subsequently enroll in a Part D plan, you could lose your Advantage coverage and revert back to Original Medicare Part A and Part B.
Consult with your doctor or health plan administrator before you make any coverage changes or enroll in any additional health care plans.
When to sign up
You should sign up for Part D prescription drug coverage as soon as possible. Failure to do so may result in health audits that could affect your ability to get coverage. You may also be subject to late fines and/or higher monthly premium costs.
The Initial Enrollment Period for Part D starts three months prior to your Original Medicare eligibility date and ends four months after said date. The Original Medicare eligibility date is based on your birth month and your 65th birthday. If you miss this seven-month enrollment window, you can try again during the Annual Election Period, which begins on October 15th and concludes on December 7th of each calendar year. If you miss this period as well, your final opportunity for Part D enrollment will be in one of Medicare’s Special Election Periods. You should avoid waiting this long due to the penalties mentioned above, and because the Special Election Periods are intended for those with hardships like the unexpected loss of prior insurance coverage.
What are my choices?
The Medicare Part D services listed in the preceding table are provided in all New Jersey 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.