Medicare beneficiaries who wish to enroll in the new Medicare drug benefit can now choose a drug plan. Most beneficiaries have until May 15, 2006, to select a plan without incurring a premium penalty.
But deciding on the right plan may not be easy. Under the new drug benefit, private companies are vying with each other for the Medicare beneficiary's premium dollar. In most areas, the government says that people on Medicare will have at least 40 different drug plans from which to choose. Not only are there many plans, but there are many factors to consider in choosing a plan. Plans will differ in the monthly premiums they charge, deductibles, the drugs they cover, the cost of those drugs, limitations on drug purchases, and the convenience of the plan's pharmacy network, among other factors.
To help consumers in the selection process, ElderLawAnswers created a Drug Plan Comparison Worksheet that allows beneficiaries to note important information about each plan, compare the plans side by side, and identify the one that best meets their needs. The newly updated Worksheet is available by clicking here. Print it out, fill it in and see how the plans stack up.
For information on the drug plans being offered in your area, go to www.medicare.gov
For a checklist of factors to consider when choosing a Medicare drug plan, click here.
For an explanation of the Medicare drug benefit, click here.