Archive for December, 2008

How Do I Buy My Generics OFF My Part D Drug Plan Beginning January of 2009??

QUESTION:

  I have been reading your blog and thought I would begin buying my generics off my Part D plan as you suggested, however, when I went to the pharmacy they said they could not do this because it was illegal.  Is this true, and how do I find a pharmacy that will not bill my Part D plan?

ANSWER:   Thank you for that question!  I have had many people write in and ask me this, so I called the www.MedicareRights.org and asked them if this was wrong advice or if it was illegal.  They said that just like any other insurance plan you have, like your car, home, health etc… you can file your claim with the insurance plan or NOT, it is up to you, and it is NOT illegal.  PLEASE TAKE A FEW MINUTES AND GO TO THE CATAGORY SECTION ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THIS BLOG AND CLICK ON “DRUG SAVINGS TIPS” AND “DONUT HOLE HELP”.  YOU WILL SEE ALL THE BLOGS ON THESE SUBJECTS SO YOU DO NOT MISS ANYTHING!!!

I have found that the Part D Plans do not like me to give out this information, as they want everyone to FALL INTO THE “DREADED DONUT HOLE” as soon as possible.  There are some pharmacies that don’t want to let you NOT file your claim on the Part D plan, because they don’t make as much money on the prescription.  However, don’t let anyone discourage you from doing this , you will just have to find a pharmacy that will take your instructions either in your town or online.  I have also had people write in telling me that they told the pharmacy NOT to file it with their Part D, and they did it anyway. 

SO, HOW CAN YOU TELL IF THE PHARMACY HAS FILED YOUR GENERIC PURCHASE WITH YOUR PART D PLAN???   I called my local Wal-Mart pharmacy and the pharmacist told me that there is a code in the upper right corner or your ticket that comes with your bag that holds the pill bottles.  If it has an abrieviated name of your drug plan, it has been billed to your plan.  If it says cash, or it is left blank you will know they didn’t file the claim as you requested.

Probably the best way to avoid confusion is to buy your “cash” purchases at one pharmacy and get your Part D prescriptions filled at another one.  This takes a little leg work, but it will be worth it.  Even though you are paying the lower co-pay amounts, your drug plan is dinging your account for $20, $30, even $40 or more for the generic, getting you closer and closer to the “dreaded donut hole”.  Also, you could order them at an online pharmacy.  Do not give them your Part D card and don’t even mention it, as it is not necessary they have this information if you are not billing your Part D plan.  If they ask you, tell them you are paying cash and not using a Part D plan.  Then make sure, by looking at your ticket, that they actually did NOT file a claim.

It is so not fair that the Part D plans can change the drugs they cover in the middle of the year or stop paying for a drug you need, when you can’t change drug plans in the middle of the year.  The drug plans were not written for the benefit of the Medicare beneficiary, but for the benefit of the insurance company.  So, you must try to make these plans work for you as best you can until we get some changes made.  Please take a few minutes and contact www.MedicareRights.org

For now, folks, this is all we have to get any kind of help to pay for our drugs.  I am just trying to help you get the most out of your plans through the year.  Remember, once you reach the “dreaded donut hole” you should not continue to buy your drugs using your Part D card.  You must shop around at that point to save the most money on your medications, because sometimes the insurance company inflates the prices to make up for the loses they incurred while you were paying the lower co-pay amounts. 

I hope that you will continue to write me with your comments and suggestions and stories of what is happening to you.  It helps everyone else to hear of your experiences.

Please write to me, Karyn Blake, here at My Part D USA’s blog at kblake@MyPartDusa.org. Or you can email this article to a friend.

Published by mypartdusa on December 10, 2008 in Drug Savings Tips.

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CNN News Talks to Karyn Blake at My Part D USA

WELL, I FINALLY GOT MY 15 MINUTES OF FAME, AS THEY CALL IT, OR RATHER 20 SECONDS.  WE WERE ON CNN AND HEADLINE NEWS 3 TIMES OVER LAST WEEKEND .  IT WAS EXCITING AS WE HAVE NEVER MADE NATIONAL NEWS BEFORE.

THE PIECE WAS ABOUT THE PRESIDENT OF THE LARGEST GROUP OF GENERAL MOTORS RETIREES, JACK DICKINSON, AND HOW HE IS HELPING THE OTHER RETIREES GET GOOD INFORMATION ABOUT THEIR TRANSITION TO MEDICARE.  HE ASKED ME TO WRITE A BLOG ABOUT MEDICARE ON HIS WEBSITE, WWW.OVERTHEHILLCARPEOPLE.COMIF YOU HAVE TIME, CHECK OUT THIS WEBSITE FOR SOME INSIDE SCOOP ABOUT THE AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY.

AS YOU ALL KNOW, MANY OF THE FORTUNE 500 COMPANIES ARE CANCELING THEIR RETIREES’ DRUG AND HEALTHCARE COVERAGE.  WE ARE HAVING MANY OF THESE RETIREES COMING TO THE WEBSITE AND CALLING US TO GET HELP.

IF YOU DID NOT GET TO SEE US ON CNN, WE HAVE PUT UP A VERY SHORT FEED OF THE BROADCAST ON WWW.MYPARTDUSA.COM YOU CAN CLICK ON THIS AND SEE THE STORY ABOUT GENERAL MOTORS AND HOW WE ARE HELPING THEM GET TRANSITIONED OVER TO MEDICARE BENEFITS.

IF YOU KNOW SOMEONE THAT IS DEALING WITH THIS KIND OF SITUATION, TELL THEM ABOUT THIS BLOG.  EVERYONE KNOWS THAT MEDICARE IS MORE CONFUSING AND OVERWHELMING THAN ANY OTHER TIME IN HISTORY, AND IF YOU DON’T MAKE GOOD DECISIONS ABOUT YOUR COVERAGE WHEN YOU FIRST JOIN MEDICARE, YOU MAY NOT BE ABLE TO “UNDO” THE DAMAGE.

IT IS AMAZING TO ME THAT PEOPLE GET SUCH “BAD INFO” FROM SOME SALESPERSONS.  JUST LAST WEEK ONE OF OUR READERS GOT HOODWINKED BY A SALESPERSON INTO JOINING A MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN

.  THE SALESMAN TOLD THEM THAT THEY WERE GOING TO SAVE $600 A YEAR IN PREMIUMS.  COME TO FIND OUT, THIS 86 YEAR OLD MAN WITH HEART PROBLEMS WENT TO HIS DOCTOR AND HOSPITAL AND FOUND OUT THEY WOULD NOT ACCEPT THE TERMS OF PAYMENT FROM THIS MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN, AND ALSO THAT THE BUILT IN PDP OR PRESCRIPTION DRUG PLAN DID NOT COVER ALL OF HIS MEDICATIONS.  HE CALLED US AND WE HELPED HIM GET BACK ON HIS TRADITIONAL MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT AND STAND ALONE DRUG PLAN

THAT DID INDEED COVER ALL HIS MEDICATIONS.  FOLKS, PLEASE BEWARE AND READ MY OTHER BLOGS ABOUT MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLANS BEFORE YOU JOIN ONE, NO MATTER HOW GOOD THE SALESMAN MAKES IT SOUND!!!

AS I HAVE TOLD YOU BEFORE, IF YOU ARE JUST GETTING ONTO MEDICARE, YOU NEED TO GET A TRADITIONAL MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT TO PAY THE 20% THAT ORIGINAL MEDICARE DOES NOT COVER IN THEIR 80%.  IF YOU JOIN A MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN FIRST, YOU MAY NOT BE ABLE TO EVER GET A MEDIGAP PLAN BECAUSE YOU WILL THEN HAVE TO GO THROUGH HEALTH QUESTIONS AND UNDERWRITING. IF YOU JOIN A MEDIGAP/MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT FIRST, AND THEN DECIDE TO “TRY” A MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN, YOU HAVE A 12 MONTH PERIOD WHERE IF YOU DECIDE YOU REALLY DON’T LIKE THE ADVANTAGE PLAN YOU WILL NOT HAVE TO GO THROUGH UNDERWRITING TO GET BACK ON THE BEST COVERAGE, WHICH IS THE MEDIGAP PLAN. THE MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN WILL NOT TELL YOU THIS!!!!!

THEN YOU NEED TO GET A STAND ALONE PART D PLAN.  PLEASE READ MY OTHER BLOGS ABOUT HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR PART D PLANS, AND HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST ONE.  YOU MUST GET A COMPARISON BASED ON YOUR INDIVIDUAL MEDICATIONS.

LET ME KNOW IF THESE BLOGS HELP YOU!  IF ANY OF YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS OR SUGGESTIONS, OR A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE TO HELP OTHERS, PLEASE WRITE TO ME AND I WILL PUT IT UP ON THIS BLOG.

Please write to me, Karyn Blake, here at My Part D USA’s blog at kblake@MyPartDusa.org. Or you can email this article to a friend.

Published by mypartdusa on December 9, 2008 in Where do I go for HELP with Part D or Medicare Issues?.

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CNN Headline News and Open House Host Over the Hill Car People and My Part D USA

I HOPE YOU GOT A CHANCE TO WATCH US ON OPEN HOUSE THIS MORNING.  WE WILL ALSO BE ON SATURDAY AND SUNDAY, DEC. 6 & 7 AT 3:30 IN THE AFTERNOON ON HEADLINE NEWS.

WE WANT TO THANK MR. JACK DICKINSON OF WWW.OVERTHEHILLCARPEOPLE.COM

FOR GIVING US THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE A RESOURCE FOR MEDICARE.

WE HAVE BEEN WORKING WITH MANY RETIREES, NOT JUST THOSE FROM GENERAL MOTORS, BUT EASTMAN-KODAK, CONOCO-PHILLIPS, VAUGHT AIRCRAFT iNDURSTRIES, WHIRLPOOL-MAYTAG, ALCATEL-LYCENT, AND AMERICAN AIRLINES, AMOUNG OTHERS.

WE HAVE PRESENTED WORKSHOPS TO RETIREES TO HELP THEM TRANSITION FROM GROUP COVERAGE INTO THE MEDICARE SYSTEM.

IF YOU KNOW SOMEONE OR HAVE FAMILY THAT ARE RETIRING AND NEED HELP WITH THIS TRANSISTION, LET THEM KNOW ABOUT US.  WE THANK YOU FOR READING THE BLOG AND STAY TUNED……

Please write to me, Karyn Blake, here at My Part D USA’s blog at kblake@MyPartDusa.org. Or you can email this article to a friend.

Published by mypartdusa on December 6, 2008 in Where do I go for HELP with Part D or Medicare Issues?.

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More Q and A about Medicare Part D

QUESTION:

MY WIFE AND I DON’T TAKE ANY MEDICATIONS SO WHY SHOULD I JOIN A PART D DRUG PLAN?  CAN’T I WAIT UNTIL WE BEGIN TO TAKE DRUGS?

ANSWER:

DO YOU WAIT UNTIL YOU WRECK YOUR CAR TO BUY CAR INSURANCE?  DO YOU WAIT UNTIL YOU GET SICK TO GET HEALTH INSURANCE?  IT IS THE SAME THING WITH A DRUG PLAN.  NO ONE CAN PREDICT THE FUTURE.  I GET CALLS ALL DURING THE YEAR THAT SOMEONE HAS BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH A DISEASE AND THEY NEED EXPENSIVE MEDICATIONS, BUT THEY FAILED TO JOIN A PART D PLAN DURING THE AEP, OR ANNUAL ELECTION PERIOD.  THEN THEY ARE SO UPSET THAT THEY CANNOT GET COVERAGE FOR ALMOST ANOTHER YEAR.

ALSO, IF YOU ARE ELIGIBLE FOR PART A AND/OR PART B AND DO NOT JOIN A PART D PLAN, YOU WILL HAVE A 1% PER MONTH PENALTY ADDED TO YOUR PREMIUM FOR LIFE WHENEVER YOU DO JOIN A PLAN.

QUESTION: I WANT TO COMPARE THE PLAN I HAD LAST YEAR TO THE ONES YOU LIST ON THE COMPARISON FOR ME FOR 2009.  WHY DOES MY PLAN NOT COME UP FOR ME TO SEE?

ANSWER:

WHEN YOU GO TO WWW.MYPARTDUSA.COM AND ENTER IN YOUR DRUGS, THE TOP 5 PLANS FOR 2009 COME UP FOR YOU TO SEE BY CALCULATING THE MEDICATIONS YOU ARE TAKING.  EVERYONE’S LIST WILL BE DIFFERENT.  WE HAVE NO WAY TO KNOW WHAT PLAN YOU WERE ON LAST YEAR.  WE ONLY SHOW YOU THE ONES THAT COME UP FOR YOU TO SAVE THE MOST IN 2009.  YOU SHOULD HAVE RECIVED THE CHANGES FROM YOUR 2008 DRUG PLAN COMPANY IN THE MAIL.  YOU CAN LOOK AT THAT LETTER AND COMPARE IT TO THE NEW CHOICES FOR 2009.

Please write to me, Karyn Blake, here at My Part D USA’s blog at kblake@MyPartDusa.org. Or you can email this article to a friend.

Published by mypartdusa on December 4, 2008 in Drug Plan Enrollment.

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VISIT THIS LINK TO FIND OUT WHERE TO BUY YOUR GENERICS FOR THE LOWEST PRICES NOT USING YOUR PART D DRUG PLAN CARD!!

DEAR READERS:

I JUST FOUND THE MOST AWESOME LINK TO FIND ALL THE STORES YOU CAN BUY YOUR GENERICS, NOT USING YOUR DRUG PLAN CARD.

http://www.medicare-partd.com/PartD-DrugSearchBrandGenericEquivalent.php?letter=RxSavings

YOU CAN GO TO THIS LINK AND CLICK ON THE DRUG YOU NEED TO PURCHASE.  A LIST OF STORES AND PRICING WILL COME UP FOR YOU!!  I AM THRILLED TO HAVE FOUND THIS AND HOPE THAT IT REALLY HELPS YOU SAVE MORE ON YOUR MEDICATIONS NEXT YEAR.

AS I HAVE TALKED TO YOU BEFORE DURING THE YEAR, IF YOU WILL BEGIN 2009 BY NOT PURCHASING YOUR GENERICS WITH YOUR DRUG PLAN CARD, YOU WILL STAY OUT OF THE “DREADED DONUT HOLE” LONGER NEXT YEAR.  PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU TELL THE PHARMACIST NOT TO ADD THIS TO YOUR PART D PLAN.  YOU WILL HAVE TO DOUBLE CHECK TO MAKE SURE THEY DO NOT FILE IT AGAINST YOUR PART D PLAN.  SOMETIMES THEY DO IT ANYWAY.  I HAVE WRITTEN DIRECTIONS THAT A PHARMACIST GAVE ME IN ANOTHER BLOG UNDER THE CATAGORY SECTION OF “DONUT HOLE HELP” AND “DRUG SAVINGS TIPS”.  PLEASE GO THERE ARE READ MY INSTRUCTIONS.

FIRST

, YOU NEED TO GET YOUR 2009 DRUG PLAN COMPARISON AT WWW.MYPARTDUSA.COM THEN BEGIN THE NEW YEAR BY USING ALL THE TIPS I HAVE OUTLINED FOR YOU.

PLEASE WRITE ME AND LET ME KNOW IF THIS LINK HAS BEEN A HELP TO YOU!!!

Please write to me, Karyn Blake, here at My Part D USA’s blog at kblake@MyPartDusa.org. Or you can email this article to a friend.

Published by mypartdusa on December 3, 2008 in Drug Savings Tips.

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HAVE YOU ALREADY JOINED A MEDICARE PART D PLAN FOR 2009?? YOU CAN STILL CHANGE IT IF YOU FEEL YOU DID NOT GET THE COVERAGE YOU DESERVE!!

QUESTION:  I already joined a Part D plan for 2009, but now I found another plan on your comparison that will cover my drugs for cheaper co-pays, can I change my drug plan again?

ANSWER:

YES, YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR DRUG PLAN AGAIN, IF YOU FIND ONE THAT IS BETTER FOR YOU.  YOU ARE NOT STUCK ON ANY DRUG PLAN UNTIL DECEMBER 31ST, 2008.  THE DRUG PLAN YOU ARE ENROLLED IN ON THAT DATE WILL BE THE PART D DRUG PLAN YOU HAVE IN 2009.  IF YOU HAVE NOT CHECKED OUT THE NEW PRICES ON YOUR 2008 DRUG PLAN, PLEASE DO SO NOW.  IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN YOUR 2009 DRUG PLAN COMPARISON, PLEASE GO TO WWW.MYPARTDUSA.COM AND ENTER IN YOUR MEDICATIONS.  YOU CAN CHOOSE YOUR PLAN FOR 2009 AND ENROLL EASILY ONLINE.

QUESTION:

  My Dad has a Medicare Advantage Plan with a built in PDP or drug plan.  He has found a Part D plan that will save him more money on his drugs.  Can he keep this Advantage Plan, but choose his own Part D plan to save money?

ANSWER:

  NO, IF YOUR DAD ENROLLS ON A STAND ALONE PART D DRUG PLAN HE WILL LOSE HIS DOCTOR AND HOSPITAL COVERAGE.  THE ONLY WAY YOUR DAD CAN JOIN A STAND ALONE DRUG PLAN WOULD BE TO CHANGE HIS HEALTHCARE PLAN.  HE COULD SWITCH TO A MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN THAT DOES NOT HAVE A BUILT IN DRUG PLAN, OR HE COULD TRY TO QUALIFY FOR A MEDIGAP/MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT PLAN.  PLEASE BE CAREFUL WHEN CHANGING COVERAGES DURING THE AEP, SO THAT YOU DO NOT DISTURB YOUR HEALTHCARE PLANS.  IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ON HOW TO COORDINATE YOUR DRUG AND HEALTH CARE COVERAGE, PLEASE CONTACT US TOLL FREE AT 866-752-1795.

QUESTION:

I AM PLANNING A NEW YEARS EVE PARTY THAT MANY OF MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY WILL ATTEND.  THERE WILL BE COCKTAILS AND DANCING TO THE OLDIES.  THE PARTY IS GOING TO BEGIN ABOUT 8 O’CLOCK IN THE EVENING ON DECEMBER 31ST, AS WE HOPE TO STAY AWAKE LONG ENOUGH TO WATCH THE BALL DROP AT TIMES SQUARE.  I WAS HOPING I COULD JOIN A MEDICARE PART D PLAN A FEW HOURS BEFORE THE PARTY STARTS.  DO YOU THINK THIS WILL BE A PROBLEM IF I NEED TO REFILL MY PAIN MEDICATION ON JANUARY 1, 2009??

ANSWER:  IF A CHICKEN AND A HALF CAN LAY AN EGG AND A HALF IN A DAY AND A HALF, HOW LONG WOULD IT TAKE A GRASSHOPPER WITH A WOODEN LEG TO KICK ALL THE SEEDS OUT OF A DILL PICKLE?  PLEASE KNOW THAT THE LONGER YOU TAKE TO JOIN A PART D PLAN, THE LONGER IT WILL TAKE YOU TO RECEIVE YOUR NEW DRUG PLAN CARDS TO TAKE TO THE PHARMACY TO PURCHASE YOUR MEDICATIONS.  IF YOU WAIT UNTIL DEC. 31ST, WHETHER YOU ARE PLANNING A PARTY OR NOT, YOU WILL NOT BE IN THE SYSTEM FOR THE PHARMACY TO LOOK UP YOUR NEW DRUG PLAN INFORMATION OR CO-PAY AMOUNTS.  IF YOU CAN, EITHER GET THE REFILLS YOU KNOW YOU WILL NEED NOW IN ORDER TO LAST UNTIL YOU GET YOUR NEW DRUG CARDS, OR JOIN A PART D DRUG PLAN AT LEAST BY DECEMBER 10TH.  IT TAKES YOUR DRUG PLAN AND MEDICARE 3 WEEKS TO PROCESS YOUR NEW PART D PLAN AND GET YOUR NEW CARDS IN THE MAIL TO YOU.  I’M GLAD YOU STILL HAVE THE ENERGY AND GOOD HEALTH TO DRINK AND DANCE TO THE OLDIES, JUST BE CAREFUL!!!  YOU MAY NOT NEED THE PAIN MEDS THE NEXT DAY AFTER ALL!!

Please write to me, Karyn Blake, here at My Part D USA’s blog at kblake@MyPartDusa.org. Or you can email this article to a friend.

Published by mypartdusa on December 2, 2008 in Drug Plan Enrollment.

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