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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  / Part D Day Approaches/   Editorial List

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Part D-Day Approaches

 

12 days, 1,036,800 seconds, 17,280 minutes or 288 hours, no matter how you slice it, the deadline for signing up for the Medicare Part D program swiftly approaches. Regardless of what you think of the program, the facts are that once May 15th passes, you will incur a 1 percent fee on your premiums, which will accrue each month until you can enroll again on November 15th. And you pay the penalty for the rest of your lives. I have spent a good amount of time on Medicare.gov, spinning the Medicare Part D Roulette wheel as I try and help friends and family members make educated decisions about their enrollment choices. Letís spin the wheel and see where it lands. In my area there are 44 programs from which to choose and many decisions to make before you make your choice: Do you want to use a specific pharmacy? Are your drugs within the plans formulary? What co-pay would you like? Do you want to a Medicare Advantage Plan or a stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug Plan? What monthly drug premium are you comfortable with (not to mention your annual deductible)?

But there is good news, Medicare.gov is pretty simple to use and if you donít have a computer (hey, how are you reading this newsletter?) you can always call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY: 1-877-486-2048 for live help. There are SHIINE programs (Senior Health Information Insurance Education) in many communities across the nation or you can call your local Area Agency on Agency organization. So if you have decided to enroll in the Part D program and have been procrastinatingÖitís now time to step up to the wheel and give it a mighty spin.

 

Gary Barg
Editor-in-Chief

gary@caregiver.com