Medicare Part D in Minnesota and the rest of the United States offers prescription drug coverage to Medicare beneficiaries through private insurance companies. As a Medicare beneficiary in Minnesota, one of the ways you can receive prescription drug coverage is by enrolling in a stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. Costs for each Medicare Part D plan in Minnesota vary depending on your particular location and zip code, but most plans require you to pay a monthly premium, annual deductible, and copayment or coinsurance.
As a Medicare beneficiary in Minnesota, you may be receiving health coverage if you’re enrolled in Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, or a Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plan without drug coverage. If so, you may want to join a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan to get help paying for your prescription drug expenses. Each Medicare Part D prescription drug plan in Minnesota, like those in the rest of the United States, has a different cost, usually depending on your zip code and the area in which you live, and most plans require you to pay a monthly premium, annual deductible, and copayment or coinsurance. In addition, you must reside in the service area of whichever Medicare Part D plan you select.
Every Medicare Part D prescription drug plan in Minnesota, like those in the rest of the United States, has its own list of covered prescription drugs, called a formulary. The formulary separates drugs into different tiers (or categories), each with a different cost. The lowest tier includes the more affordable drugs, while the highest tier lists the most expensive medications. If your doctor or health-care provider decides that a drug in a higher tier is medically necessary for your treatment, you or your prescriber can ask your plan for a tiering exception to get lower cost sharing for a higher tier prescription drug.
Medicare Part D prescription drug plans in Minnesota generally let you choose between brand-name drugs and generic drugs. The Food and Drug Administration defines generic drugs as having the same active ingredients, at the same dosage, strength, and with the same way of administering them, and be proven to perform the same as brand-name drugs. The main difference for you is that generic drugs may cost less than their brand-name equivalents, resulting in lower out-of-pocket expenses. If, for some reason your generic prescription drug is not available, your drug plan may allow you to substitute it with a similar generic drug rather than you having to pay the higher amount for a brand-name drug, so be sure to discuss all prescription drug options with your doctor or health-care provider.
It’s a good idea to join Medicare Part D in Minnesota during your Medicare Initial Enrollment Period, which begins three months before you turn 65, ends three months after that month, and always includes your birth month. You must also either have or be eligible to join Medicare Part A to sign up for Medicare Part D in Minnesota.
If you’re enrolled in Medicare due to a disability, you can sign up for Medicare Part D in Minnesota from three months before until three months after your 25th month of disability.
You can also enroll in Medicare Part D in Minnesota during the Open Election Period, which runs from October 15 to December 7 each year, and if you want to switch from one Medicare Part D prescription drug plan to another, you may do so during the same period.
It’s important to know that if you remain without creditable drug coverage for 63 days or more after your Initial Enrollment Period ends, you may have to pay a late-enrollment penalty for as long as you remain enrolled in Medicare Part D. In Minnesota and the rest of the United States, this penalty is calculated using 1% of the national base beneficiary premium and the number of full months you were eligible for Medicare Part D but didn’t join. This amount is then added to your Medicare Part D monthly premium. The national base beneficiary premium may increase each year, which means your late-enrollment penalty may also increase annually.
Always remember that even if you decide to sign up for a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, you have to remain enrolled in Medicare Part A, and pay any Part A premiums (if you’re not entitled to premium-free Medicare Part A coverage) to keep your health coverage.
There are many Medicare Part D drug plan options available in Minnesota. A Medicare Part D prescription drug plan is a stand-alone plan that Medicare beneficiaries get in addition to Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, to help cover costs for prescription drugs. A Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan, on the other hand, combines health and prescription drug coverage into a single plan, offering at least the same coverage as Original Medicare, and, in certain cases, additional benefits like vision, hearing, and dental, all for a single premium.
When comparing Medicare Part D prescription drug plans in Minnesota, it’s always a good idea to take into consideration your personal prescription drug requirements, since your drug cost, rather than your premiums or deductibles, could determine most of your out-of-pocket expenses.
It may also be smart to review your Medicare Part D plan at the end of each year to find out if there were any changes to your coverage. Medicare Part D prescription drug plans in Minnesota, like those in the rest of the United States, are permitted to change their premiums, copayments, deductibles, and drug formularies on an annual basis, meaning that your present plan may not suit your prescription drug needs the following year. You may even want to consider shopping for a new plan every year during the Annual Election Period.
Medicare Part D plan availability and costs vary by state. Here are some statistics on stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plans in Minnesota (this information is subject to change):
For more information about Medicare in Minnesota, see the following articles:
As you can see, there are various Medicare Part D prescription drug plan options available in Minnesota, so it may be a good idea to get help choosing a plan that fits your individual needs. You can: