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Q: When do I need to sign up for Medicare Part D?

Posted November 13, 2013 in Advice Column, Greene County

A: For most people age 65 and older, the time is now. Enrollment started Oct. 15 and will continue through Dec. 7 for the 2014 calendar year. If you turn 65 after Jan. 1, 2014, you may apply at that time. Medicare Part D is not related to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) that is in the news.

Some individuals with other insurance coverage such as Medicaid are allowed to change plans more than once a year.

How do I know which plan to choose?
One way is to have access to the Internet and go to where you can find the various plans available in Iowa. Another way is to visit your local insurance agent who is licensed for health insurance.

What do I need to look for?
You need a plan that covers your medications, especially if you are taking any brand name medicines. Most generic drugs are covered.

You also need to make sure that the plan you choose allows you to use the pharmacy of your choice. Some plans almost force you to use a mail order pharmacy, which is inconvenient for many patients. Even more plans are beginning to use a “preferred pharmacy” network, which can severely limit your pharmacy choices. These “preferred pharmacy” networks may make you go to a pharmacy you do not feel comfortable using. The price may be a little lower, but when you factor in the cost of fuel and time, they are not necessarily a bargain.

Information provided by Medicap Pharmacy, 400 N. Elm St., Jefferson, 515-386-2164.

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