Now that the annual enrollment period for Medicare Part D has ended, those that have changed their insurance provider have to get to know that provider and understand their policies and procedures now. There are some that are very overwhelmed with the task and don’t know where to begin. This is a common feeling and there are many ways to help make the change of providers as easy as possible.
Those that have changed insurance providers should have changed providers willingly. Those that have taken the time to change providers themselves will know some of the most important information already. When a person voluntarily changes to a different prescription drug plan provider, they already know what prescription drug plan that will have in the coming year and who that provider will be. With that information in hand, it is easier to get familiar with a new prescription drug plan.
The First Step
The first thing that a person should do to get familiar with their new plan is find the contact information for their new plan. Not every Medicare prescription drug plan is issued through the same insurance company. When a change is made, it is very important to have the contact number to the new plan. With the contact information in hand, people that have questions or need documents mailed to them will have the correct insurance company to contact.
Once the contact information has been gathered, it is very important to find the prescription drug plan card. Every year pharmacies have to update their customer profiles and when they don’t have the correct insurance information, they are not able to bill the medications correctly. This can cause the immediate out of pocket expense to increase for patients. To avoid this, those that have changed insurance providers should make the effort to find their new prescription drug card. If the card can’t be found, it’s best to call the new insurance provider to send a replacement.
The Second Step
Normally when a person changes their insurance provider, they are sent a “new member kit.” In this new member package, there are several pieces of information in that are necessary. One of the most important pieces of information is an explanation of the plan. This plan description will normally detail the coverage limits and levels in that plan.
Not only will the new member kit have an explanation of the plan, it will have a small formulary enclosed as well. This is something that most members look for because they want to know what level of coverage their medications are. Many times, these formularies don’t cover all the medications that are covered under the plan. These formularies are normally an abridged formulary. If a medication isn’t listed on this formulary, it is best to call the insurance company to verify the coverage.
There are other things that come in the new member kit that can be useful to anyone. Many companies like to include literature about their mail order pharmacies, money saving tips and other things. It is important for everyone to read this information as there may be something important in there. Rather than pass it off as a bunch of junk, it should be sorted and filed as additional information.
The Third Step
After reviewing all the information that is mailed, members should take note of things that they don’t understand. It there are things that are hard to understand, new members should call their new Medicare part D plan provider. This is very important.
Medicare is hard to understand and Medicare part D prescription drug plans are even harder to understand. Members that don’t understand all their benefits aren’t able to take advantage of the insurance they have available to them. Those that ask questions are often treated with additional knowledge and how the plan can work to their benefit. This is what everyone deserves, a Medicare part D prescription drug plan that works well for them.
Getting to know a prescription drug plan is not as hard as some think. It takes a great deal of patience in the beginning because there are different rules at different Medicare prescription drug plan providers. No matter who the prescription drug plan provider is, there should always be someone available to answer questions.
If for any reason, a person is enrolled into a Medicare prescription drug plan and they have no details, a Medicare beneficiary can always call the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. All Medicare prescription drug plans are monitored by CMS and enrollment is tracked through that agency for all providers. CMS will be able to give details of what plan beneficiaries are enrolled in, what company is providing those Medicare part D benefits.