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Medicare Information

If you are on Medicare, please read the following important information which began being mailed in September and needs to be reviewed.

All Medicare beneficiaries should be aware that the Medicare Open Enrollment Period starts Tuesday, October 15 to Saturday, December 7. You will increasingly receive a lot of mail about changes in the Part D plans as well as information about Medicare Advantage Plans and Medicare Supplemental Plans aka Medigaps. For those who are not dual eligible (on Medicare and Medicaid) this is the one time you can make changes which will be effective January 1, 2014.

Your Annual Notice of Change should be reviewed even if there is no need to change to ensure the plan is covering what you need. Plans can change the drugs that are covered, increase the costs or change the pharmacies that are participating.

As an example, Medicare Part D began covering barbiturates and benzodiazepines in 2013. Benzodiazepines are covered as a treatment for all medically necessary conditions. Barbiturates will only be covered in 2013 to treat epilepsy, certain cancers and chronic mental health conditions. Check to make sure the barbiturate or benzodiazepine you take is covered on your drug plan’s formulary.

Beginning on January 1, 2014, all barbiturates that otherwise meet the definition of a Part D drug may be covered under Part D when used for any medically accepted indication.

Also please note that starting in 2014, outpatient mental health services will be paid for using the usual Part B coinsurance (20%).

Please see the Advocacy Unit with any questions or concerns. Walk-in hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 to 2:00PM.