Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans in Georgia
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What are Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans in Georgia?
Beneficiaries in Georgia (as in any state) who wish to add prescription drug coverage to their benefits may opt for a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan. Available from private, Medicare-approved insurance companies, these plans are specifically designed to work with Original Medicare to provide prescription drug benefits not included with Medicare Part A and Part B.
Another way to get your Medicare benefits — including prescription drug coverage — is to sign up for a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan in Georgia. These plans are also offered by private insurance companies approved by Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans include the same coverage as Medicare Part A and Part B provide (except hospice care, which Medicare still covers), and often include more benefits, like prescription drug coverage and routine dental services.
When you receive your Medicare benefits through Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C), you’re still enrolled in the Medicare program, and you still have to pay your Part B monthly premium along with any premium the Medicare Advantage plan may charge. But many beneficiaries enjoy the convenience, and possible cost savings, of getting all their Medicare benefits in a single plan.
Enrolling in Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans in Georgia
To enroll in a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan, you need to be enrolled in Medicare Part A or Part B. To sign up for a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plan, you need to have both Part A and Part B. Whichever kind of plan you choose, you need to live within the plan’s service area.
To save money, you may want to enroll in a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan — or a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan — in Georgia during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). This period begins three months prior to the month you turn 65, continues through your birthday month, and extends until three months after your birthday month. If you qualify for Medicare benefits due to a disability, your Initial Enrollment Period usually begins when you’ve been receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits for 24 months, continues through your Medicare eligibility month (25th month of receiving benefits), and continues through the 28th month. Note that you must be an American citizen or permanent legal resident of at least five continuous years to qualify for Medicare.
Why would enrolling in Medicare prescription drug coverage during your IEP save you money? It’s because even though this coverage is optional, if you don’t sign up for it during your IEP, you might face a late-enrollment penalty if you decide to sign up for it later on. Also, you can only enroll during certain periods, as described below.
- A popular opportunity for enrolling in a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan or a Medicare Advantage plan is the Annual Election Period (AEP), which takes place each year from October 15 to December 7. Beneficiaries may add, switch, or drop prescription drug coverage during the AEP.
- Special Election Periods (SEPs) are also available for beneficiaries that need to add a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan due to a change in insurance coverage or other special circumstances, such as moving to or from a skilled nursing facility.
While Medicare Part D is available to beneficiaries that do not have other prescription drug coverage, those who already have drug coverage may not be eligible for these benefits. In other words, you generally cannot double up on prescription drug benefits by enrolling in both a Medicare Advantage plan with prescription drug coverage and a stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug Plan at the same time. Some Medicare Advantage plans may not allow enrollment in stand-alone a Medicare Prescription Drug plan.
Choosing a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan in Georgia
Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans in Georgia may vary in terms of the medications they cover and your out-of-pocket costs, such as copayments and coinsurance. You may want to compare the various plans available to find one in your part of Georgia that covers the prescription medications you take and meets your financial needs. Be aware that a plan’s formulary may change at any time. You will receive notice from your plan when necessary. Even beneficiaries not currently taking medications may want to consider a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to be prepared if their needs should change in the future.