Medicare Part D Coverage in Connecticut
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What are Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans?
Medicare beneficiaries in Connecticut (or any state) who want to add prescription drug benefits to their Original Medicare coverage can enroll in a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan. These stand-alone plans are designed to provide prescription drug coverage to Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). Medicare Part A covers prescription drugs that are part of your treatment as a hospital inpatient, while Medicare Part B covers certain prescription drugs administered to you as an outpatient.
Medicare Prescription Drug Plans are available through private insurance companies in Connecticut that have been approved by Medicare. Each plan has its own formulary (list of covered drugs), which may be on the plan’s website. The plan formulary may change at any time. You will receive notice from your plan when necessary.
Another way to get Medicare prescription drug coverage is through a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan. Medicare Advantage plans are offered by Medicare-approved private insurance companies. If you already have a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan, you cannot also enroll in a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan.
Enrolling in Medicare Part D coverage in Connecticut
You can enroll in a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan if you’re enrolled in Medicare Part A or Part B, whether or not you also have a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan. Medigap plans today do not offer prescription drug benefits.
Signing up for a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan works the same in Connecticut as it does in all other states. One time period when beneficiaries can enroll is the Medicare Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), which starts three months before you turn 65, continues through your birthday month, and continues for three months afterward (seven months in all). If you qualify for Medicare benefits when you’re younger than 65 because of a disability, your IEP generally starts your 22nd month of after receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits, and continues through your 28th month of receiving these benefits.
Although prescription drug coverage is optional, if you don’t sign up for it during your IEP, you could face a late-enrollment penalty if you decide to sign up for this coverage later on. Some other times when you can sign up for Medicare Part D are listed below.
- You can enroll during the Annual Election Period (AEP), also called Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug coverage, which runs from October 15 to December 7 of each year.
- If you have a Medicare Advantage plan and decide to leave the plan and return to Original Medicare, you can sign up for a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan between January 1st and March 31st. That’s called the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (OEP).
- You can switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another during the OEP described above. For example, if your plan doesn’t include prescription drug coverage, you can switch to one that does.
- Special Election Periods (SEPs) are also available outside the other enrollment periods for beneficiaries who experience certain changes, such as a move outside the plan’s service area, or a change in insurance coverage.
Choosing Medicare Part D coverage in Connecticut
Depending on where you live in Connecticut, there may be a number of Medicare plan options to choose from — Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans, Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans, and others. With many options to choose from, you may want to spend some time researching the various benefits and costs of Medicare plan options in your service area. You may also want to look at a plan’s formulary to make sure it includes your prescription drugs before choosing a plan. Even if you don’t currently take prescription medications, you may want to avoid a possible late-enrollment penalty and sign up for Medicare prescription drug coverage in case your needs change in the future.