Some Arizonans may have missed the deadline for enrolling in the new Medicare Part D prescription drug program.
Many Arizona Medicare beneficiaries are already saving money on prescription drugs today, and AARP will continue to work with the Administration and Congress to improve the program.
AARP is asking the administration to remove the permanent late enrollment penalty for the first year.
"Removing the permanent late enrollment penalty will encourage Medicare beneficiaries who currently don't have drug coverage to enroll in Part D at the next available opportunity," said AARP Arizona State Director David Mitchell. "It's also important to note that some Arizonans can enroll today without penalty if a person qualifies for a Special Election Period or SEP, then that person may enroll in the prescription drug program, or change plans, after the May 15 deadline."
You may enroll (or change plans) after May 15 if:
- You are eligible for "extra help" from Social Security (including people who have Medicaid).
- You move permanently outside your plan's service area.
- You are a person who was affected by Hurricane Katrina.
- Your plan's contract is terminated, or the plan goes out of business.
- You lose your prescription coverage from an employer or union, or your coverage changes so that it is no longer as good as the standard Medicare benefit.
- Your decision to enroll was the result of an error of a federal employee or federal contractor.
"Qualifying for a Special Election Period allows you the freedom to add Medicare coverage for your prescriptions, or change plans," Mitchell said. Depending on the situation, time limitations may apply.
To qualify for an SEP, call the Social Security Administration at (800) 772-1213 and complete the application for "extra help."