Every year there is an open enrollment period for people to sign up for Medicare prescription drug plans. This is a time that is exciting for millions of people because they will be able to change their prescription drug plans from their current provider to one they feel better suits their needs. It is also an exciting time for those that haven’t signed up for their benefits yet. Unfortunately, it’s a time of disappointment for those that would like to sign up for the benefits but are unable to.
When open enrollment starts for Medicare Part D prescription drug plans, it’s limited to those that are Medicare beneficiaries. Not everyone that would like to enroll in a prescription drug plan has Medicare Part A or Medicare Part B. Having Medicare is a requirement for anyone to enroll into a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. As people are informed of this, they don’t always understand and often are disappointed in being told this news.
No Medicare, No Part D
Medicare Part D is a recommended part of the Medicare program. There are no laws in place saying that everyone has to enroll into a Medicare prescription drug plan but it’s highly recommended. When people hear about the benefits of enrolling into a prescription drug plan, they don’t realize they have to be enrolled in Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B or have both.
When Medicare Part D prescription drug plans were designed, they were designed to benefit those that have Medicare benefits. Under traditional Medicare Part A and Part B, there are no benefits for prescription drug coverage. This is something that left Medicare beneficiaries in a financial bind because they would sometimes have to pay for prescription drugs with no insurance. This is a very expensive problem for those that have a fixed income with no disposable income to put towards medications. Rather than allow these beneficiaries to continue to suffer, Medicare Part D prescription drug plans were created.
These plans are not a required part of the Medicare program but it’s a plan that is recommended. Most Medicare beneficiaries have medical needs that have to be addressed with prescription medications. A Medicare Part D prescription drug plan will help these beneficiaries purchase the medications they need. These beneficiaries will be able to continue enjoying having the protection of insurance when they enroll into a Medicare prescription drug plan.
The Initial Assumption
When the Medicare Part D program was created, the assumption was made that those that weren’t Medicare eligible had private coverage. There are many other insurance options for those that want insurance to choose from. The idea wasn’t to exclude anyone from having prescription drug insurance. The program was created to address a need for those that are Medicare eligible.
Those that are not covered under traditional employer insurance may have qualified for other retirement insurance coverage. If those options were not available, those that needed coverage may have qualified for Medicaid coverage under their state’s guidelines. When people attempt to enroll into a Medicare prescription drug plan without being a Medicare beneficiary, they don’t know their options for prescription coverage.
Although Medicare Part D plans were created for those with Medicare Part A or B, there are options for those without it. Those that don’t have Medicare coverage can look into getting coverage with their state’s Medicaid program, other retirement programs or independent insurance options. There are plenty of insurance options available to those that don’t qualify for Medicare Part D.