Medicare Part D Enrollment

It's been about six months since you've heard about the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Program. At that time, seniors were scrambling to enroll before the deadline. Now, another deadline looms ahead.

If they have not done so previously, seniors can enroll on November 15th and sign up for the program. But for those currently enrolled, there may be changes in your specific prescription drug program which may prompt you to make some changes as well.

Alice Wagner has been an AARP volunteer since 1992. She says six months ago, she did her homework and eventually signed up for a prescription drug program under the Medicare Part D program that was right for her.

"By the time I pay my premium each month," Wagner says, "I am saving about $40 each month."

Besides the cost savings, Wagner says she's had no problems getting her medications. But what she and others enrolled in Medicare Part D might not know, some of their plans may be changing.

It may mean they will no longer be available. Premiums could be going up or down. New medications are going to be covered, there are new plans to choose from, and the so-called donut has changed. Which all means, seniors enrolled in the program may want to change their coverage during the open enrollment in November as well. State Health Insurance Assistance Program spokeswoman Janet Cottrell advises seniors to be aware of the available options.

"You are going to get a new book from Medicare and that is your bible," Cottrell explains. "You want to make sure you take care of that because that gives all the drug plans in the back of your book again this year so those are important pieces of information you need to take good care of."

Cottrell says enrollment opens up November 15th through December 31st. That time period may seem like a lengthy six weeks, but be aware that holidays will actually restrict the enrollment...which means there will be less time to change plans or enroll in Medicare Part D for 2007.

If you didn't make the June deadline and you want to enroll in the Medicare Part D program in November, remember there will be a 32-cent penalty fee attached to your monthly bill which will follow you throughout your enrollment.

If you need help with your Medicare Part D enrollment, you can call the SHIP program at 1-800 307-4444.