Medicare Part D in Arkansas
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Over 621,000 people in Arkansas are enrolled in Medicare in 2018 according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). If you’re enrolled in Medicare, you’re generally eligible for Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage).
What is Medicare Part D in Arkansas?
Medicare Part D in Arkansas is offered by private insurance companies approved by Medicare and covers prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries in Arkansas. If you enroll in Medicare Part D in Arkansas, you will be one of more than 437,000 in 2018 who have also enrolled, according to CMS. Medicare Part D generally does not cover over-the-counter medications, which are often an out-of-pocket expense for Medicare beneficiaries.
What are my options for Medicare Part D in Arkansas?
There are two ways to get Medicare Part D in Arkansas. You can stay with Original Medicare and get a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan to go alongside Original Medicare. You also can get a Medicare Advantage plan with prescription drug coverage. Medicare Advantage is an alternative way to get your Medicare Part A and Part B benefits through a private insurance company that contracts with Medicare. With Medicare Advantage, you can have your Medicare Part A, Part B, and Part D benefits in one plan.
The lowest cost for a stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan in Arkansas in 2018 was $16.40 a month according to CMS. Twenty-three stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plans are available in Arkansas in 2018. According to CMS, 70% of people with Part D coverage in Arkansas have stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug Plans.
You may be able to get a Medicare Advantage plan with prescription drug coverage with a monthly premium as low as $0 but you must continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium. Fifty-four Medicare Advantage plans are available in Arkansas in 2018, according to CMS. CMS also reports that about 30% of people with Medicare Part D in Arkansas have Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plans.
How do I enroll in Medicare Part D in Arkansas?
You’re eligible for Medicare Part D when you
- have Medicare Part A and/or Part B
- live in the service area of a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan or Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan.
There are several different periods when a beneficiary may enroll in Medicare Part D in Arkansas.
- Initial Enrollment Period: The Initial Enrollment Period for Medicare Part Dis when you’re first eligible for Medicare prescription drug coverage. For most people, it occurs at the same time as your Initial Enrollment Period for Part B, starting three months before your 65th birthday, including the month you turn 65, and ending three months after you turn 65. If you’re eligible for Medicare due to a disability, the period starts three months before your 25th month of receiving disability benefits and also lasts seven months.
- Annual Election Period: If you don’t enroll in Medicare Part D when you’re first eligible, you can also enroll during the Annual Election Period that occurs each year from October 15 to December 7. During this time, beneficiaries may sign up for Medicare Part D by enrolling in a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan or a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan. They can also switch Medicare plans or disenroll from a Medicare plan.
- Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period: If you use the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period(January 1 to February 14) to disenroll from your Medicare Advantage plan and return to Original Medicare, you can use this same period to enroll in a stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
- Special Election Period: In certain situations, you may qualify for a Special Election Periodto make changes to your Medicare coverage, including Medicare Part D, outside of regular periods. You may qualify for a special election period if you move out of your plan’s service area or if your plan becomes bankrupt.
What else should I know about Medicare Part D in Arkansas?
If you don’t enroll in Medicare Part D when you’re first eligible, you could owe a late-enrollment penalty when you do enroll. Medicare prescription drug coverage is optional, so any penalty wouldn’t apply unless or until you sign up for Medicare Part D.
Not all Medicare Part D plans in Arkansas cover the same prescription drugs. To learn if your medication is covered, ask to a copy of the plan formulary, or list of covered prescription drugs. The formulary, pharmacy network, and/or provider network may change at any time. You will receive notice when necessary.
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This information is not a complete description of benefits. Contact the plan for more information. Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply. Benefits, premiums and/or co-payments/co-insurance may change on January 1 of each year.