Model Individual CREDITABLE Coverage Disclosure
Please read this notice carefully and keep it where you can find it. This notice has information about your current prescription drug coverage and about your options under Medicare’s prescription drug coverage. This information can help you decide whether or not you want to join a Medicare prescription drug plan. If you are considering joining, you should compare your current coverage, including which drugs are covered at what cost, with the coverage and costs of the plans offering Medicare prescription drug coverage in your area. Information about where you can get help to make decisions about your prescription drug coverage is at the end of this notice.
There are two important things you need to know about your current coverage and Medicare’s prescription drug coverage:
Medicare prescription drug coverage became available in 2006 to everyone with Medicare. You can get this coverage if you join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan or join a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO) that offers prescription drug coverage. All Medicare drug plans provide at least a standard level of coverage set by Medicare. Some plans may also offer more coverage for a higher monthly premium.
Your employer has determined that the prescription drug coverage offered is expected to pay, on average, as much as standard Medicare prescription drug coverage pays and is therefore considered Creditable Coverage. Because your existing coverage is Creditable Coverage, you can keep this coverage and not pay a higher premium (a penalty) if you later decide to join a Medicare drug plan.
When Can You Join A Medicare Drug Plan?
You can join a Medicare drug plan when you first become eligible for Medicare and each year from October 15 to December 7. However, if you lose your current creditable prescription drug coverage, through no fault of your own, you will also be eligible for a two (2) month Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to join a Medicare prescription drug plan.
What Happens to Your Current Coverage if You Decide to Join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan?
Individuals who are eligible for Medicare should compare their current coverage, including which drugs are covered, with the coverage and cost of the plans offering Medicare prescription drug coverage in their area.
If you are eligible for Medicare and do decide to enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan and drop your employer’s group health plan prescription drug coverage, be aware that you and your dependents may not be able to get this coverage back.
Please contact Human Resources for more information about what happens to your coverage if you enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan.
Your medical benefits brochure contains a description of your current prescription drug benefits.
When Will You Pay a Higher Premium (Penalty) to Join a Medicare Drug Plan?
You should also know that if you drop or lose your current coverage with your employer and don’t join a Medicare prescription drug plan within 63 continuous days after your current coverage ends, you may pay a higher premium (a penalty) to join a Medicare drug plan later. If you go 63 continuous days or longer without creditable prescription drug coverage, your monthly premium may go up by at least 1% of the Medicare base beneficiary premium per month for every month that you did not have that coverage. For example, if you go nineteen months without creditable coverage, your premium may consistently be at least 19% higher than the Medicare base beneficiary premium. You may have to pay this higher premium (a penalty) as long as you have Medicare prescription drug coverage. In addition, you may have to wait until the following October to join.
For More Information about This Notice or Your Current Prescription Drug Coverage…
Contact your Human Resources Department for further information NOTE: You will receive this notice annually, before the next period you can join a Medicare prescription drug plan, and if this coverage through your employer changes. You also may request a copy of this notice at any time.
For More Information about Your Options Under Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage…
More detailed information about Medicare plans that offer prescription drug coverage is in the “Medicare & You” handbook. You’ll get a copy of the handbook in the mail every year from Medicare. You may also be contacted directly by Medicare drug plans. For more information about Medicare prescription drug coverage:
Call your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (see the inside back cover of your copy of the “Medicare & You” handbook for their telephone number) for personalized help
Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048
If you have limited income and resources, extra help paying for Medicare prescription drug coverage is available. For information about this extra help, visit the Social Security Administration (SSA) online at www.socialsecurity.gov, or call SSA at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).
Remember: Keep this Creditable Coverage notice. If you decide to join one of the Medicare prescription drug plans, you may be required to provide a copy of this notice when you join to show whether or not you have maintained creditable coverage and, therefore, whether or not you are required to pay a higher premium (a penalty)