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Medicare 2009

The New Medicare Prescription Drug Program

In 2003, the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act was signed into law. The new Medicare Prescription Drug Program affects everyone who is covered by Medicare, regardless of income. This program was implemented on January 1, 2006. The 2009 enrollment period will begin November 15, 2008 and end December 31, 2008. You may choose from a number of plans run by private companies. Each plan has its own formulary, or list of covered drugs.

How to Apply
You may apply by filling out an application, applying online at www.medicare.gov, or calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). The plans are listed in the Medicare 2009 Handbook, a publication that was mailed to the homes of all Medicare beneficiaries. You can also compare Medicare Prescription Drug Plans online at http://www.medicare.gov/MPDPF/Home.asp.

Medicare 2009 Changes

Premiums & Deductibles
Although premiums and deductibles may vary, in general:

  • You will pay a monthly premium.
  • You may pay a $295 deductible at the beginning of this year. Some plans have a smaller deductible or no deductible.
  • You will pay about 25 percent of your prescription costs from $295 to $2,700.
  • Once you reach $2,700 in costs, you may pay 100 percent of costs until you reach $6,153. Certain plans provide some drug benefits during this period.
  • After you reach $6,153 in drug costs, you will pay only 5 percent of further drug costs.

If you are single with income below $15,600 and resources below $12,510, or married with income below $21,000 and resources below $25,010, you may qualify for extra help with premiums and other drug plan costs.

Benefit Changes

  • Part A and Part B changes - View an article from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) on the changes to Medicare Part A and Part B benefits for 2009.

For further information about the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, see links below.

Medicare Prescription Drug Program