Prescription drug plans in Georgia

 For those living in Georgia who want to add prescription drug coverage to their Medicare benefits, you can choose a Part D Drug plan. These plans are available from Medicare-accredited private insurance companies, and they are designed to pair with Original Medicare to provide prescription medication benefits that aren’t included in Part A and Part B.

There’s a second way to obtain prescription drug Medicare benefits – you can sign up for a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plan in Georgia. These plans are also offered by Medicare-approved private insurance companies. Medicare Advantage plans provide all the same coverage as Medicare Part A and Part B (except hospice care, which is still covered by Part A), and includes extra benefits, such as dental benefits and prescription drug coverage.

When you receive your healthcare benefits through Medicare Advantage (also known as Medicare Part C), you’ll still pay your Medicare Part B monthly premium along with any premium from your Medicare Advantage Plan. Many people in Georgia prefer Medicare Advantage plans because of the convenience of having all their medical benefits under one single plan in addition to the potential cost savings.

How to enroll in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan in Georgia

If you want to enroll in a stand-alone Part D prescription drug plan, you’ll enroll alongside Original Medicare. If you prefer to sign up through a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plan, you’ll still have all the benefits of Medicare Part A and B; they will simply be under one single plan alone with your prescription drug coverage. Medicare Advantage enrollees may not purchase a stand-alone Part D drug plan in addition to their Medicare Advantage drug plan.

You’ll want to enroll in a Medicare Part D stand-alone plan or a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan during your Initial Enrollment Period. This period begins three months before you are 65 years old, lasts through the month of your birthday, and concludes three months after the month of your birthday. When qualifying for Medicare because of a disability, the initial enrollment period begins during your 22nd month of receiving benefits from Social Security or Railroad Retirement, includes your 25th month, and continues through your 28th month of receiving benefits. It’s important to note that to qualify for Medicare, you must be a US citizen or permanent legal resident for at least five consecutive years.

Why would you save money by getting your Medicare Part D coverage during your IEP? Even though Part D coverage is optional, if you don’t sign up for it during your Initial Enrollment Period and you decide to get it later, you will be penalized and have this extra cost added to your fees for the life of the policy.

Beyond the Initial Enrollment Period, you can sign up during the following times:

Annual Election Period. This time slot runs from October 15 to December 7 of each year. During this time, you can switch from Original Medicare with a stand-alone Part D plan to a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan or choose a stand-alone Part D plan to go with Original Medicare.

Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period. This period is for those with Medicare Advantage and runs yearly from January 1 through March 31. If you have Medicare Advantage plan, the OEP lets you switch Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans or revert back to Original Medicare only and choose a stand-alone prescription drug plan.

Special Election Period. This is a period during which a qualifying life circumstance allows you to sign up for medical coverage. Special conditions include moving outside of a coverage area or losing your Medicaid eligibility.

Things to note about Medicare Part D prescription drug plans in Georgia

When you sign up for one Medicare Part D plan, you are set until the Annual Election Periods come around again. You may not sign up for two Part D drug plans. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan and you try and sign up for a stand-alone Part D plan, you will be removed from the Medicare Advantage plan and placed back into Original Medicare.

Prescription drug coverage plans in Georgia will vary regarding the types of medications covered and out-of-pocket costs, such as copayments, deductibles, and coinsurance. Before signing up for any plan, be sure to compare available plans in your area of Georgia and find one that covers the prescriptions you need. You’ll also want to check any fees associated with the plan to ensure it fits within your budget.

Finally, do note that the list of prescriptions the insurance provider covers may change. If this happens, the insurance provider will notify you of the change, so you’ll be prepared to shop around and purchase a new plan during the next available time slot.

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