Video: Medicare Part D and PEBB
Interviewer: I've heard about this Medicare Part D drug plan. So do I have to enroll in that if I'm a PEBB member?
PEBB Representative: This is a great question, and we get this question a lot as well. You're not required to sign up for Medicare Part D coverage under any circumstances. But signing up for Medicare Part D coverage could affect your PEBB coverage.
What we want you to know is that your coverage for prescription drugs through PEBB is as good as, or better than, the coverage in the Medicare Part D plans. Medicare refers to this as creditable coverage. I have a chart shows that all the PEBB plans, except the Medicare supplement plans, have prescription drug coverage. So people that choose Premera Blue Cross may wish to consider enrolling in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan sold by another private company.
Interviewer: I've heard that there's some big penalty if you don't enroll in Part D when you have to enroll in it.
PEBB Representative: Medicare refers to this as the late-enrollment penalty. As a person in PEBB, this is almost certainly not a problem for you. The penalty for late enrollment applies only if, when you sign up for Medicare Part D, you did not already have creditable coverage. The PEBB health plans, excepting the Medicare supplement plans, all have prescription drug coverage that is considered creditable.
So, if at some point in the future you were to leave your PEBB coverage to choose another plan in the commercial market and get Medicare Part D, to avoid the penalty, you'd want to sign up within 63 days of giving up your PEBB coverage. And in that case, you would not have any penalty.
Interviewer: OK, so if I decided to do that, how would I get more information about the Medicare Part D program?
PEBB Representative: You can find information about the plans that contract with Medicare — and the rules, and the costs, and the plan design — by going to the Medicare website. Really using the computer is the best way to do this research. Check out the Medicare website at www.medicare.gov.
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