How do I get my husband signed up for Medicare Part D?
My husband is 65 and in a nursing home for early onset Alzheimer's. He qualified for Medicaid for his nursing home care. I am a teacher and still working. He is on Medicare A and B, and my state teachers' insurance. I am being charged around $300 a month for copays for his prescriptions by my insurance. They say I need to go on Medicare Part D and Medicaid will take care of those costs. When I have called to ask different companies about Medicare Part D, they say different things. I am so confused. What do I ask for, and what can I expect? -- maggie.
You'll save a lot of money when you get your husband signed up for a Medicare Part D plan . A Part D plan pays most of the cost of drugs included in the plan's coverage list (called a "formulary"). Most people pay a monthly premium, yearly deductible, and a copayment for each drug, and there's a gap in their coverage during which the plan pays nothing. But Part D plans are much less expensive for people in nursing homes and enrolled in Medicaid -- your husband can get a plan with no premium, he won't have to pay a deductible, and his copayment for each drug will be very low. Also, he won't have any gap in coverage.
As you've already found out, choosing a plan is a bit confusing. Your first step is to find out what plans are available to your husband. You can find the Part D plans in your state by going online to the Medicare web site's plan finder tool . Medicaid will pay the full premium only for certain plans in your state; for others, your husband would pay the difference between what Medicaid pays and the full premium. The most important thing in choosing a plan is finding one that includes all your husband's drugs on its formulary list of covered drugs. You can do that by looking at the Medicare web site's "Formulary Finder" tool . Once you find a plan that covers your husband's drugs, you can enroll your husband directly with the plan, or through the Medicare web site.