You've decided you need Medicare coverage. How do you choose which plan is best for you? Here are some things to consider before you enroll:
- Prescription Drug Benefits – Many Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage. These are called Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans (MAPD). CarePlus Medicare Advantage plans include medical and prescription drug coverage, all in one plan.
- Premiums – With a CarePlus Medicare Advantage plan, most members do not pay a separate monthly plan premium. Either the plan selected does not have a premium or, for those who qualify for Medicare’s "Extra Help," the program pays for all or part of the plan premium. (You must continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium. The Part B premium may be covered through your State Medicaid Program.)
- Late Enrollment Penalty – In some situations, CarePlus members are required to pay a late enrollment penalty because they did not join a Medicare drug plan when they first became eligible, or because they had a continuous period of 63 days or more when they didn’t have what Medicare defines as creditable prescription drug coverage. CarePlus is required to bill these members for the late enrollment penalty.
- Effective Dates – In most cases, your coverage becomes effective on the first day of the next month after you apply. However, if you enroll in a plan during the Annual Election Period (AEP) between October 15 and December 7, using AEP election, your coverage will become effective January 1 of the following year.
You should know that if you purchase a stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) while you're enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan that has prescription drug coverage, you will be disenrolled automatically from your Medicare Advantage plan.