2016 Part D Prescription Drug Plans for Contra Costa County Residents on Medicare
Part D, which is optional but recommended, conforms to standards set forth by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) but is sold by private insurance companies. It can be purchased in conjunction with either Parts A or B through stand-alone prescription drug plans. It is also usually included in Medicare Advantage plans, including all the plans currently available in Contra Costa County.
Stand-alone plans (see chart below) are normally for those who do not enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan. That includes those who elect to use Original Medicare, with or without a Medigap Policy, or who select a Contra Costa Health Plan.
Part D coverage is optional. However if you delay obtaining Part D coverage and have not had equivalent “creditable” coverage you will be subject to a late enrollment penalty if you enroll later. Many employer or retiree plans include creditable coverage but you must confirm this and get written proof in order to avoid a penalty if you enroll later. Veteran’s Administration drug coverage is also creditable. For more information about the Part D late enrollment penalty, go here.
Remember, every year during Open Enrollment (Oct. 15 – Dec. 7) you can change stand-alone prescription drug plans or Medicare Advantage plans for the following year as well as enroll in one for the first time.
For those with low incomes and resources, Extra Help is available for your Part D. Click here to learn more about Extra Help.
Click here for a summary overview of the Medicare Advantage plans with Prescription Drugs offered in 2016.
Click here to view the two-page summary Stand Alone Prescription Drug Plan chart.
Click here for the printable two-page summary Stand Alone Prescription Drug Plan chart.
Click here for information about using the Medicare Plan Finder tool to compare stand-alone prescription drug plans and prescription drug coverage in Medicare Advantage plans.
Click here to go to the Plan Finder page on the Medicare website.
Click here for information about 2016 prescription drug coverage and the Donut Hole.
Click here to find out how to meet with a HICAP counselor to review your current prescription drug needs, either as part of a Medicare Advantage Plan or as a stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan.
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How can I choose the best drug coverage for my needs? You can determine the optimal coverage for you by using the Medicare.gov Plan Finder tool. With it you can determine the coverage and costs for stand-alone prescription drug plans and Medicare Advantage plans with prescription drug coverage based on your specific needs. You enter the prescription drugs and pharmacies you use in the Medicare Plan Finder. Based on that information, it shows the available coverage and computes your total cost for the year for each plan, including premiums, deductibles and copays for your drugs, and lists them in order of lowest cost.
The Medicare Plan Finder can compute drug costs for both Medicare Advantage plans and stand-alone prescription drug plans, individually or together. In addition to the costs, Plan Finder will show you whether a plan has any restrictions on your drugs, the star ratings for each plan, and if there are any preferred pharmacies in a given plan.
Click here for step-by-step instructions to using the Plan Finder tool (Note this document is in PDF format and will open in a new window in Adobe Acrobat).
Click here to go to the Planfinder page on the Medicare website.