Thursday, January 3, 2008

Medicare Expects Smooth Transition for Part D Beneficiaries

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced that Medicare beneficiaries who have chosen to change their health and drug coverage for 2008 should experience very few difficulties when getting their covered prescription drugs through Medicare Part D.

According to CMS, steps have been taken to ensure that pharmacies can obtain accurate enrollment information in 2008, particularly for low-income beneficiaries. The CMS has implemented better processing requirements for all enrollees, and a point-of-sale facilitated enrollment process should help provide immediate coverage for people with Medicare who have Medicaid or have qualified for extra help, but aren’t enrolled in a Medicare drug plan.

CMS recommends these four tips when visiting the pharmacy:
  1. Bring your red, white, and blue Medicare card, a photo ID, and your new drug plan membership card – these items will help the pharmacist in verifying your coverage.
  2. Bring an enrollment acknowledgement, confirmation letter, or the name of your new drug plan if you have not received a plan membership card – your enrollment search might take longer, but these items will assist the pharmacist in verifying your coverage.
  3. Keep copies of your receipts – in the rare instance where the pharmacist cannot confirm enrollment, you can work with your new plan prospectively to obtain reimbursement.
  4. Don’t leave the pharmacy counter without your medicine – if you cannot pay out of pocket, call 1-800 MEDICARE for assistance or ask the pharmacist to dial the special hotline for these cases.

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