Medicare Supplement (Medigap) insurance policies do not provide prescription drug coverage. If you have a Medicare Supplement plan, you can still get drug coverage through a separate prescription drug plan through companies that offer drug plans such as Silverscript or Humana. Prescription drug plans are also known as Medicare Part D.
Prescription Drug Coverage Under Legacy Medigap Plans H, I, and J
Up until 2010, Medicare supplement plans H, I, and J offered drug coverage as a part of their coverage. Those plans were eliminated in 2010 and replaced with plans K through N – none of which offer prescription drug coverage.
You can continue to receive your drug benefits from one of the discontinued plans if you still have it in force. But you cannot have a Plan H, I, or J and also have a Medicare Part D drug plan unless you have your insurance company to remove the prescription drug coverage from your Medigap plan. This could also change your monthly premiums.
Those legacy plans are not getting new, healthy enrollees coming into the plans, and that is a problem. You can expect the premiums on those three plans to continue to rise in the future. Insurance companies need new, healthy policyholders to help keep premiums low. That is not an option since those legacy plans are no longer available for sale.
There are better options available today if you are on an older plan. You can call our office at 1-888-228-6119 to speak with a licensed independent agent about your situation.
How To Get Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Coverage
If you are enrolled in Medicare and have a Medigap plan other than H, I, or J, you have two options. First, you can enroll in a stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. Your second option is to move to a Medicare Advantage plan. Although over 80% of Medicare Advantage plans have drug coverage included, most Seniors are not willing to give up the freedom and autonomy they have with a Medigap plan to go onto a Medicare Advantage plan with all of its restrictions. You cannot be enrolled in a Medicare supplement and a Medicare Advantage plan at the same time.
There are only certain situations under which you can enroll in a Medicare Part D plan, such as turning 65 or going onto Part B of Medicare for the first time. In both of those cases, you can enroll three months before or three months after the month that your Part B coverage begins. You can also enroll or change plans each year during the Annual Election Period (AEP). That period runs from October 15 through December 7. AEP restrictions apply to Part D or Medicare Advantage plans only. With your Medigap plan, you can make changes to your plan at any time of year.
Enrolling in Standalone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans
There are a lot of prescription drug plans to choose from, and you don’t want to shop on premium alone. If you need a standalone Part D prescription drug plan, you can find a plan on our website. You can enter your current drugs to see what your total out-of-pocket costs will be.
Compare all drug plans in your area – CLICK HERE
Simply going with the lowest-priced plan is not a good idea. There are premiums, deductibles, and co-pays on each drug that should all be considered. By using the link that I provided above, you can enter your current drugs and it will check all plans for those premiums, deductibles, and co-pays to see which will be the cheapest based on your total out-of-pocket costs.
You may find a plan with a low premium that has a very high co-pay for a drug you currently take. But maybe another plan with a higher premium has a lower co-pay each time you get your prescription filled. This is why it is important not to shop Medicare Part D drug plans on premium cost alone.
We are also available to help you compare options and choose a drug plan over the phone. Call us today at 1-888-228-6119. We can compare your drugs and show you the options available.
I recommend going with a company with a high star rating from Medicare. These ratings come from other customers like you. A company with a 3.5-star rating or higher, such as Wellcare, Silverscript, or Humana, generally does a better job with customer service and claims.
The advice on this website is informational. Please contact us before making a purchasing decision to help determine what is best for your individual situation. You can contact us at 888-228-6119.
Keith Murray is an independent agent and the founder of Integrity Senior Solutions Inc. He has over 24 years of experience working with Seniors to meet their insurance and financial needs.