Medicare Open Enrollment

Below are details about the open enrollment period as well as other resources that may be helpful if you have questions about Medicare. As always,  please contact my office at 270-842-9896 if we can be of assistance to you with this or any other issue.

October 13, 2014 – October 31, 2014
*Please note, the open enrollment period for Plan Year 2015 is now closed.

Medicare can assist you in choosing the plan that best meets your needs and can provide you with information, counseling and assistance in regards to plans and benefits. Seniors, family members and caregivers can ask questions and learn more about Medicare by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or by visiting Medicare’s website at

The quickest way to select a plan is using the Medicare Plan Finder at


Medicare Part D is prescription drug coverage insurance that is provided by insurance companies approved by Medicare. There are two ways to get Medicare prescription drug coverage:

  •  Medicare Prescription Drug Plans: Add drug coverage to Original Medicare, some M edicare Cost Plans, some Medicare Private Fee-For-Service Plans, and Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans.
  • Medicare Advantage Plans: Offer Medicare prescription drug coverage. Through these plans you get your Part A and B coverage and prescription drug coverage (Part D).

If you do not have credible prescription drug coverage, it is in your best interest to enroll for Part D when you become eligible. If you don’t enroll and are without credible prescription drug coverage you will have to pay  a late enrollment penalty.

How do I get Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage?
The eligibility requirements differ depending on what prescription drug plan you
chose. To join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan you must have Medicare Part A or B. In order to join a Medicare Advantage Plan you must have both Medicare Part A and B. Once you choose a Medicare prescription drug plan you may be able to join by completing a paper application, calling the plan, or enrolling on the plan’s Web site or on the Medicare Plan Finder which can be found at You can also enroll by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). When you join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, make sure you have your Medicare card to provide the information needed.  You will have to provide your Medicare number and the date when your Part A or B coverage began.

How much does Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage Cost?

The cost for the Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage Plans varies depending on the plan. Your Part D premium may be higher based on your income. Some recipients are eligible for Extra Help to help pay for prescription drug costs.

How will my current insurance work with the Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage?

If you already have insurance through a union or your employer you should call your benefits administrator to find out if your current insurance is credible. Make sure you keep all the information you get from your benefits administrator. If you have credible prescription drug coverage it may be best for you to remain on it.


What is Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug plan costs?
Anyone who has Medicare can get Medicare prescription drug coverage. Some people with limited resources and income also are eligible for Extra Help to pay for the costs - monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and prescription co-payments - related to a Medicare prescription drug plan. The Extra Help is estimated to be worth about $4,000 per year. Many people qualify for these big savings and don't even know it.

To qualify for Extra Help:

  • You must reside in one of the 50 States or the District of Columbia;
  • Your resources must be limited to $12,640 for an individual or $25,260 for a married couple living together. Resources include such things as bank accounts, stocks, and bonds. We do not count your home, car, and any life insurance policy as resources; and
  • Your annual income must be limited to $16,335 for an individual or $22,065 for a married couple living together. Even if your annual income is higher, you still may be able to get some help. Some examples where your income may be higher are if you or your spouse:
  • Support other family members who live with you;
  • Have earnings from work; or
  • Live in Alaska or Hawaii.     

How do I apply for Extra Help?

It is easy to apply for Extra Help. Just complete Social Security's Application for Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs (SSA-1020). Here's how:

  • You can apply online at;
  • Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) to apply over the phone or to request an application; or
  • Apply at your local Social Security office.

After you apply, Social Security will review your application and send you a letter to let you know if you qualify for the Extra Help. Once you qualify, you can choose a Medicare prescription drug plan. If you do not select a plan, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will do it for you. The sooner you join a plan the sooner you begin receiving benefits.