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Medicare Press Release

DECISION TIME FOR MEDICARE PART D
Are you enrolled in a Medicare Part D Prescription Plan? Are you happy with it? Have you opened and read the packet of information from your current prescription drug insurance company with changes for 2011?  It explains the changes in the premium, deductible and prescriptions in the formulary for your plan in 2011. 
Some Part D companies had three Part D Plans in 2010 and will only have two plans in 2011. If your Part D Plan was dropped, the company may automatically enroll you in one of their other plans. If you like your 2010 plan and understand the changes for 2011, you do not have to do anything to stay on the same plan for 2011.
The open enrollment period for Medicare Part D Prescription Plans begins November 15th- December 31st.  You have the opportunity to sign up for a different plan for 2011 or keep the same one.     
Here are some common questions and answers about the 2011 Part D Prescription Plans.
Q: How many plans are available?
A: 33 plans are available for prescription drug coverage in Kansas. Premiums for most plans have increased.  The cost of the plans vary from $14.80 to $107.50 a month.  
Q: Are there any plans that offer coverage in the gap or donut hole?
A: There are only five  plans that offer coverage for  some brand name drugs in the gap in 2011. Some plans offer generic drugs in the gap.  The gap or donut hole starts when the total money spent on your prescriptions from the insurance company and your part added together equals $2840.
After reaching that $2840 amount, the Medicare beneficiary is responsible for paying 50% of the cost of brand name prescriptions and 93% of the cost of generic prescriptions
until he or she pays a total out of pocket $4,550 for prescription drug costs. Once you’ve reached your plan’s out?of?pocket limit, you will have “catastrophic coverage.” This means that you only pay a 5% coinsurance amount or a small co-payment for each prescription for the rest of the calendar year.
In 2011 when a Medicare beneficiary reaches the gap he or she will pay 50% of the cost of  brand name drugs and 93% of generics. During the gap the full cost of the medicines will count towards getting out of the donut hole or gap (what the Medicare beneficiary pays and the portion that the pharmaceutical company pays) and reaching the catastrophic coverage          
in the plan for 2011.
Q: I had a Part D Prescription Plan in 2010. Does my deductible start over in 2011?
A: Yes, your deductible will start over in 2011.  The deductible in 2011 may be up to $310 depending on your specific prescription plan.  When you have met your deductible, your prescription plan will start paying their share toward your prescriptions.
Personalized help is available for Medicare beneficiaries in the River Valley Extension District to understand the changes in your  plan for 2011. River Valley Extension District staff and SHICK (Senior Health Insurance Counseling for Kansas) Counselors, are assisting in your county. The K-State Research & Extension Offices in the River Valley District have a listing of Medicare Part D Counseling available in each county. For a schedule and phone numbers to call for an appointment, contact one of the Extension Offices: Belleville at 785-527-5084, Clay Center at 785-632- 5335, Concordia at 785-243-8185 and Washington at 785-325-2121.

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Mary Florea
Office Professional
River Valley Extension District #4
Concordia Office
811 Washington, Suite 102
Concordia, KS 66901-3428        
785-243-8185
785-243-8187 (Fax)

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