Open enrollment for Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage for 2016 begins today, October 15, and runs through December 7, 2015. The enrollment process will remain the same as it has in previous years. Coverage for enrollees begins January 1, 2015.
What does the enrollment period mean for Medicare beneficiaries?
Each year during Medicare’s annual enrollment period, current Medicare beneficiaries are allowed to make changes to their Medicare plan choices. Beneficiaries who are enrolled in a Part D Medicare prescription drug plan can review their plan choices and determine whether they want to stick with their current plan, or switch to a new plan. The costs and benefits of each plan vary from year to year, so it is important for beneficiaries to carefully review their options and make the best choices possible for the coming year.
As a result of the Affordable Care Act, the prescription drug coverage gap, commonly known as the “donut hole,” will be completely phased out by 2020, reducing the percentage of drug costs that beneficiaries pay out of pocket.
Beneficiaries who are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan (or Medicare Part C) can review their plan choices and decide if they want to keep their current plan or switch to a new plan.
What if I’m satisfied with my current coverage?
If you have Medicare coverage and, for example, want to keep the same Medicare Part D prescription drug plan next year, you do not need to do anything during the annual enrollment period.
Note: Plan premiums may change; you should have been notified by your provider of any changes planned for next year.
For more information on the Annual Open Enrollment Period and coverage options in your area, please consult the following resources:
- Medicare Prescription Drug Annual Open Enrollment Q&A Reference (PAN and MAPRx)
- Medicare.gov (Official Medicare website)
Please also feel free to forward this e-mail to your friends and family so they are also aware of their Medicare and Part D options for 2016.