The parameters of a Medicare prescription drug benefit are changed each year by Medicare. Whether you are on a stand-alone drug plan or have the drug benefit included in your Medicare Advantage/HMO plan, the insurance companies can change the drug formulary (listing of drugs covered by the plan, showing the tier and cost of the drug for the upcoming year) from year to year. Not all prescription drugs covered by your current plan this year will necessarily continue to be covered by the plan at the same tier or at the same cost for next year.
In September, people who are now on Medicare stand-alone prescription drug plans and Medicare Advantage/HMO plans (with a drug plan imbedded in the plan) received from their current Medicare stand-alone drug plan or Medicare Advantage/HMO carrier information on changes to their prescription drug formulary for 2016 so that the Medicare beneficiary can decide whether or not they may need to make a change. It is important to review these changes to see how those change may or may not affect you for 2016.
If individuals are happy with your current plan’s changes, they don’t have to do anything and they will automatically be renewed. If not, Medicare Annual Enrollment (AEP) is from 10/15/2015 thru 12/7/2015 when changes in coverage for 2016 can be submitted to the insurance companies for a 1/1/2016 effective date.