Information on Medicare Part D: Prescription Drug Card Program

Starting January 1st, 2006, all Medicare recipients of either Medicare Part A and/or Medicare Part B will be eligible for this new prescription drug program, Medicare Part D. This new plan is optional.

Working with Medicare, insurance companies and other private companies will provide a choice of plans covering brand name and generic drugs.  There will be a 6-month open-enrollment period from November 15, 2005 through May 15, 2006.  Medicare will be providing additional information about the new plan sometime in the Fall of 2005.

A monthly premium will be required to participate in this new plan option.  Medicare Part D plans will differ in terms of monthly premium, prescription drugs covered and pharmacies that may be used.  Additional assistance will be given to individuals with limited financial resources. 

How the Plan Works

Individuals who choose Part D will pay a monthly premium, approximately $37, in addition to any premiums for Medicare Part A and/or Medicare Part B. A deductible of $250 must be met before Medicare begins paying.

After your $250 yearly deductible is met, then:
  • Under Medicare Part D, you are responsible for 25% of your yearly drug costs from $250 to $2,250, your plan pays 75%
  • From $2,251 to $3,600 you are responsible for 100% of your drug costs
  • After you spend $3,600, then you are responsible to pay either 5% of the drug costs or a copayment, whichever is greater, during the rest of the year, while the plan pays the rest.  

If you have questions regarding this program, please visit the Medicare website at http://www.medicare.gov