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Medicare+Choice Plans Available To Railroad Retirement Recipients
(Posted July 1, 2004)
Question 473: I will be 65 this September. Does Railroad Retirement Medicare pay for prescriptions? Also, if I choose to not be covered by Railroad Retirement Medicare, but a Medicare+Choice insurance plan, will Railroad Retirement release both Medicare parts A and B, in order for me to obtain other coverage?
Answer: Congratulations, we share the same birth month! In fact, I received my Medicare eligibility notice in today's mail.
To answer your first question, Railroad Retirement beneficiaries who are eligible for Medicare will receive the same drug coverage as other Medicare beneficiaries. From now until the end of 2005, you can purchase a Medicare Discount Card from one of 50 major drug chains and other organizations (including AARP). You have to evaluate the cost and benefits provided by each of the cards because each one is unique.
Begining in January 2006, new drug coverage under Medicare will be available to help defray the cost of prescriptions. The new benefit will have a monthly premium, annual deductible and copayment features. As a Medicare beneficiary, you will receive information about both benefits from a federal agency (the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services).
You can enroll in a Medicare+Choice plan instead of the regular Medicare Parts A and B. Check the Medicare.gov Web site to find out about the plans available in your area, the benefits provided and the additional costs if you join. If you enroll in a Medicare+Choice plan, they will notify the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
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