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Medicare is a federal insurance program that pays healthcare costs for people who are age 65 and older, under age 65 with certain disabilities, or for many patients of any age with kidney failure, whether the person is on dialysis treatment or has had a kidney transplant.

Anyone with Medicare Part A or Part B is entitled to prescription drug coverage through Medicare Part D. If you have prescription insurance options other than a Medicare-provided plan, such as employer- or union-provided benefits, you may choose the plan that works better for your needs.

Medicare has approved several plans you can choose from, including those run by a private insurance company. Each of those plans can vary in cost and the drugs they cover. Consider monthly premiums, the annual cost of coverage, prescription copays and coinsurance, and any uncovered vitamins or medications you need when researching plans. Click here to learn more about how to choose the right plan for you.

Medicare Part D and the Coverage Gap

Many Medicare Part D prescription plans have a coverage gap. During the gap, the plan increases your financial responsibility for the cost of medications Understanding the coverage gap, often called the “donut hole”, can help you plan for your medication costs. Click on the video below to learn more about how the coverage gap works.

If you need help with the cost of your medications, there are several assistance funds and programs that may be available. For patients with Medicare Part D coverage, the Assistance Fund and HealthWell may be good resources. It’s also a good idea to check if you are eligible for the Social Security Administration’s Extra Help Program. Like many patients on dialysis, you may have several prescriptions to take, and that can get expensive. We understand. That’s why we offer flexible payment plans for every FreseniusRx patient, including a monthly billing option. To talk with a FreseniusRx representative about payment options, please call 1-800-947-3131.

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There are several assistance funds and programs that may be available for patients who need help with the cost of medication. For patients with Medicare Part D coverage, the Assistance Fund and HealthWell may be good resources. It’s also a good idea to check if you are eligible for the Social Security Administration’s Extra Help Program.

Medicare Enrollment Period & Late Penalties

There are a few different times when you are eligible to review, join or switch Medicare plans.

  • If you have just become eligible for Medicare
  • If you just lost creditable coverage through a commercial insurance plan
  • During Medicare’s annual open enrollment period from October 15 to December 7
  • During a special enrollment period – Learn more about those here.

There is a specific window of time you have to enroll before risking a late penalty. That additional cost would be applied to your monthly premium.