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Medicare Part D in Minnesota


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Around 77% of Medicare beneficiaries in Minnesota have signed up for prescription drug coverage through Medicare Part D, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Let’s explore Medicare Part D in Minnesota so you can decide if it will fit your needs.

Facts about Medicare Part D in Minnesota

More than 770,000 people have prescription drug coverage under Medicare Part D in Minnesota. That total is split between those with stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans (438,603) and those with Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans (332,056).

Here are some interesting statistics from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for Minnesota in 2019.

  • The lowest monthly premium for a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan is $15.00.
  • All beneficiaries in the state – 100% – have access to Medicare Prescription Drug Plans in Minnesota with lower premiums than they paid in 2018.
  • There are 28 stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans in Minnesota.
  • There are 74 Medicare Advantage plans in Minnesota. Not every Medicare Advantage plan includes prescription drug coverage, but most do.

What is Medicare Part D in Minnesota?

Medicare Part D in Minnesota (as in all states) is one of the “parts” of Medicare. Original Medicare refers to Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance). Medicare Part C is Medicare Advantage, explained below. Part D is prescription drug coverage.

Part C can include Part A, Part B, and Part D benefits. That is, Medicare Advantage plans provide your Part A and Part B benefits (other than hospice care, which remains covered directly under Part A). Most Medicare Advantage plans also include Part D (prescription drug) benefits as well.

So, a Medicare Advantage plan is one way you can get Medicare Part D coverage in Minnesota. There’s also a different way: a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan. Stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans in Minnesota, as in all states, work alongside your Part A and Part B coverage.

Both plan types are offered by private, Medicare-approved insurance companies that contract with Medicare. Premiums, copayments, coinsurance and other costs may vary from one plan to another. You must continue paying your Medicare Part B premium, along with any premium the plan may charge.

Why would you need Medicare Part D in Minnesota?

Not everyone may need Medicare prescription drug coverage in Minnesota. Some people might never need medications. But many of us who qualify for Medicare, whether by age or disability, depend on prescription drugs to help manage our health conditions.

Medicare Prescription Drug Plans may help pay for your medications. Some prescription drugs are expensive, so this type of coverage is important for many people.

It’s important to note that not every Medicare Prescription Drug Plan covers the same list of medications. Each plan lists covered medications in formulary. Formularies may vary among plans. So, when you’re shopping for a plan in Minnesota, you can make a list of your medications and compare it to the plan’s formulary to make sure the plan will suit your needs. The formulary may change at any time. You will receive notice from your plan when necessary.

When can I sign up for Medicare Part D in Minnesota?

You may have more than one opportunity to sign up for a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan in Minnesota. Watch for these chances so you don’t miss them if you want this kind of coverage.

Your first chance to enroll in a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan in Minnesota is during your Medicare Initial Enrollment Period, when you first qualify for Medicare.

  • If you want to get your benefits through a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan, you need to have both Part A and Part B.
  • If you want to stay with Original Medicare and sign up for a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan, you need Part A or Part B.
  • With either type of plan, you need to live in the plan’s service area.

There’s also a time every year when you can sign up for coverage under Medicare Part D in Minnesota. The Annual Election Period runs from October 15 – December 7.

Sometimes people might have situations where they need coverage outside the enrollment periods described above. Medicare offers Special Election Periods to those who qualify.

Ready to start comparing Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug plans in your vicinity? Just type in your zip code in the box on this page to get started.

Source: Statistical data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) “Medicare Enrollment Dashboard,” from the CMS Office of Enterprise Data & Analytics, February 2019.

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