Medicare Supplements and Prescription Drug Coverage

2020 Medicare Supplements and Prescription Drug Coverage

The need for prescription drug coverage plan:

According to the National Institutes of Health, seniors aged 65 and above represent only 13% of the population, but they account for more than 33% of the cost of prescription drugs for outpatients in the United States. This means that the majority of the population of Medicare beneficiaries over the age of 65 will take at least one prescription drug and would need prescription drug coverage.

Medicare beneficiaries below the age of 65 may also want coverage for prescription drugs. Prescription drug coverage is usually not covered by Original Medicare (Parts A and B), unless you receive the prescription drugs while you are in the hospital or if a doctor administers it on an outpatient basis, such as a clinic.

To avoid having to pay most of your prescription cost out-of-pocket, you usually must buy additional coverage.

Does Medicare supplemental insurance cover prescription drug coverage?

Medicare supplemental plans (Medigap) are usually sold by private insurance companies to people over 65 who are enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. Medicare supplemental plans can help pay for part of the Medicare cost, such as co insurance, co payments, and deductibles. Under federal law, private insurers do not have to sell Medicare supplement plans to people below 65 years, though some states require that Medicare supplement plans be sold to Medicare beneficiaries below 65.

Some Medicare supplement policies were sold which included coverage for prescription drug. Such supplemental Medicare policies can no longer be sold to beneficiaries (though, if you have prescription drug coverage under a previous Medicare supplement plan, you can keep it). If you are buying a Medicare supplement policy today and want prescription drug coverage, you will generally need to buy a separate Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. You can still buy a separate Medicare Part D prescription drug plan if you have a Medicare Supplement Policy that covers prescription drug coverage, but it cannot be included in both plans. You must notify your Medicare supplement policy through the Independent Prescription Drug Plan so that this coverage can be eliminated from your Medicare supplement policy and your adjusted premium.

Once the prescription drug coverage has been removed from your Medicare supplement plan, you will not be able to receive this coverage. A prescription drug coverage may also be available through a Medicare Advantage plan, but a Medicare supplement plan will not work with a Medicare Advantage policy. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, more than 25 million beneficiaries of Medicare were eligible for Medicare Part D prescription drug policies as of April 2017.

What is a separate Medicare Part D plan for prescription drugs?

Medicare prescription drug plans below Medicare Part D are offered by private insurance companies approved by Medicare. Distinct insurers provide different plan types. This means your monthly plan premiums and prescription drug costs may vary from plan to plan. Each Medicare prescription drug plan includes a formula that contains a list of prescription drugs.