Benefits Plans - Prescription Drug Plan: Medicare Part D
U-M Benefits Office Recommendation on Medicare Part D
Do not enroll in a Medicare Part D Plan, unless you apply for and are approved for Medicare low-income prescription drug assistance!
In 2006, Medicare began offering outpatient prescription drug coverage called Medicare Part D. After careful review of the new Medicare Part D Plan, the University of Michigan strongly urges Medicare-eligible active employees (and their dependents enrolled in the U-M plan) NOT to enroll in Medicare Part D plan. You do not have to do anything in order to retain your current prescription drug coverage in the University of Michigan plan.
The university advises that Medicare-eligible retirees and survivors as well as any Medicare-eligible faculty/staff on long-term-disability status (and their Medicare-eligible dependents enrolled in the U-M-plan) that think they may be eligible for Medicare low-income prescription drug financial assistance contact the social security administration to determine if they should apply for low-income assistance and enroll in a Medicare Part D Plan, and continue their university health insurance plan. All others should not enroll in a Medicare Part D Plan.
We believe that for most people, it is to their financial advantage to remain in the University of Michigan prescription drug program and not sign up for Part D. The university’s prescription drug plan is more comprehensive than Medicare Part D. Also, it will have lower out-of-pocket expenses than the Part D Plan for individuals with the possible exception of those that meet the Medicare criteria of “low income” with limited assets. For those individuals that are approved for Medicare low-income prescription drug assistance, the university recommends that only after they are approved, they enroll in a standard Medicare Part D Plan and also continue their university health insurance coverage.
You may receive many solicitations from drug plan providers urging you to enroll in the Medicare Part D plan. We strongly recommend that you do not enroll in these plans, unless you are first approved for Medicare low-income prescription drug assistance. We strongly urge you to continue your university health insurance coverage whether or not you enroll in a Medicare Part D plan, and whether or not you are approved for Medicare low-income prescription drug financial assistance.
If you do not enroll in Medicare Part D and continue your enrollment in the university’s health insurance plan (which includes both medical and prescription drug coverage), you will retain your ability to enroll in Medicare Part D in subsequent years without incurring any financial penalty. We will continue to evaluate options and will advise you at a future date.
For questions about Medicare Part D, you can visit the Medicare website at http://www.medicare.gov/medicarereform/ or the Frequently Asked Questions section of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services website at: https://questions.cms.hhs.gov/cgi-bin/cmshhs.cfg/php/enduser/std_alp.php?p_sid=YTXm_ldj
For information and applications for Medicare low-income prescription drug assistance, visit a local Social Security office, or contact the Social Security Office at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or online at www.socialsecurity.gov.
For information about Medicare Part D plans offered in your area, go to www.medicare.gov.
See also the Fall 2005 Prescription Drug Plan Newsletter.
The University of Michigan in its sole discretion may modify, amend, or terminate the benefits provided with respect to any individual receiving benefits, including active employees, retirees, and their dependents. Although the university has elected to provide these benefits this year, no individual has a vested right to any of the benefits provided. Nothing in these materials gives any individual the right to continued benefits beyond the time the university modifies, amends, or terminates the benefit. Anyone seeking or accepting any of the benefits provided will be deemed to have accepted the terms of the benefits programs and the university's right to modify, amend or terminate them.