Missed Part D deadline? Options still available

Published 4:03 pm Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dec. 31 marked the end of the open enrollment period for Medicare Part D, but people who missed the deadline still have options.

Medicare Part D covers prescription drugs that may not be covered by original Medicare. The plan can reduce the out-of-pocket cost of hundreds of prescription drugs for seniors.

John Skirven, CEO of Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia, said people who already have Medicare Part D did not need to make any changes if they want their plan to stay the same.

People who are low-income — less than $1,300 per month for an individual — can sign up at any time, Skirven said. In addition, people who turn 65 can sign up for Medicare Part D at any time during the 90 days prior to their birthday. People who are low-income could qualify for an “extra help” subsidy.

Thousands of different Part D plans are available. Seniors who are eligible for Medicare can pick the best plan. Some plans cover different drugs and different co-pays, and some plans can change from year to year, so people should review their plans each year.

Seniors can call 1-800-MEDICARE at any time to get more information on their Medicare options. In addition, www.medicare.gov and www.medicareadvocacy.org are resources that offer information on Medicare.