If you’re looking for assistance with your prescription drug costs and you’re a Nevada resident, Medicare’s Part D plans are worth researching. The state offers 25 separate Part D plans from 13 health care providers, which likely means that there is a plan that fits your needs and your budget. To enroll in one of Nevada’s Part D plans, you’ll need to be already enrolled in Original Medicare Part A and Part B. You should contact the provider of your preferred Part D plan and obtain an enrollment application, either in person for a traditional paper application or online if the company offers that option.
You should enroll as soon as possible once eligible, since any delays may result in health audits, higher monthly premium costs, and late penalties.
Medicare Part D vs. Medicare Advantage
Medicare Advantage is another option for prescription drug coverage, though it may not offer the same benefits at the same cost as a Part D plan. Advantage plans (sometimes called Medicare Part C) were originally designed to replace Original Medicare Part A and Part B, so most of their coverage options are focused on inpatient and outpatient care. However, some Advantage plans do feature additional prescription drug coverage.
Some Advantage plans are incompatible with Part D, though. In some cases, enrolling in a Part D plan while also being an Advantage member will invalidate the Advantage plan and revert the patient back to Original Medicare Part A and Part B. Be sure to consult with your doctors or a health care professional, preferably one with knowledge of the Advantage and Part D plans you are considering. Do not make any changes to your existing health coverage without first consulting with your plan administrator.
When to sign up
Signing up is a crucial step in obtaining your Part D prescription drug coverage. You’ll want to do it at the earlier possible time, which falls during Medicare’s Initial Enrollment Period. This period starts three months before your Original Medicare eligibility date and ends four months after said date. You can find this date in your Medicare membership documentation. It is based off your birth month and your 65th birthday.
You may also enroll in a Part D plan during Medicare’s Annual Election Period. This period runs from October 15th to December 7th each year. If you miss both the Annual Election Period and the Initial Enrollment Period, you’ll need to petition Medicare for inclusion in one of its Special Election Periods. These periods are usually reserved for people with hardships such as the loss of prior insurance, so make every effort to register during one of the preceding two periods.
What are my choices?
The Medicare Part D services listed in the preceding table are provided in all Nevada counties. Your county of residence may provide additional plans and services. Contact your local Medicare office for additional details.
Plans are subject to change as contracts are finalized.
Includes contracts/plans as of April 22, 2016. The data does not reflect information for employer-sponsored plans, Part B-only plans, or plans not offering a Part D drug benefit.