Medicare Part D -- New Drug Benefit

Today Medicare covers only a few drugs that are not given in a hospital or doctor’s office. Starting in January 2006, Medicare will begin paying for covered drugs for people with Part A or Part B or both who sign up for the new benefit. Medicare calls it Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage, but most people call it Medicare Part D. This benefit will be offered through private insurance companies. People with limited income and assets won’t have to pay a premium or deductibles and will pay a small copay per prescription. Others who don’t qualify for this extra help will pay a premium, deductible, and part of their drug costs.

You can read about this new coverage on the Medicare website ( To see what Part D may save you, use the calculator on the Kaiser Family Foundation website (

If you or someone you care about has kidney disease, talk with your doctor and review the list of medicines you are taking now, would be taking if you could afford them, and may need in the future as your health and treatments change. When the plans are posted in October on the Medicare website, compare what drugs each covers to see which plan is best for you. If you have other drug coverage now, find out whether it is at least as good as Medicare’s Part D. If it isn’t, you might want to sign up for Part D to save money and to avoid higher premiums later. Sign up starts November 15, 2005.

you can always call 1-800-MEDICARE and ask them anything you wanna find out about Part D