Health Insurance Card
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Medicare-Approved Drug Discount Identity Cards
You can get a Medicare Prescription Drug Health Card if:
- you have Medicare Part A and/or Part B, and
- you don't have outpatient prescription drug benefits through Medicaid (your state may call this Medical Assistance).
If you're enrolled in a state pharmacy assistance program (not Medicaid), you can still get health cards.
If you already have prescription drug coverage through your current health insurance, or you already get discounts on your prescriptions, review your coverage closely to see if this discount card will save you more money on your prescriptions.
If you are eligible for a Medicare-approved drug discount you can carry a new identity card and save at your pharmacy between 11%-18% on many brand name drugs and even more on generic prescription drugs. This benefit is available to you regardless of your income, and has no effect on your existing benefits and coverage. You may have to pay up to $30 annually for a drug card.
The new Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage will help greatly by lowering your prescription drug costs. It's all part of the new Social Security Medicare drug coverage. Perhaps you have seen all the television and media information offered by the Medicare Rx Education program and TV commercials for medicare-education running nationwide on TV stations.
If you have limited income, you will not have to pay any annual enrollment fee, and you may also be eligible for an additional $300 credit to help you pay for prescriptions.
Even if you don't qualify for the $300 drug credit, you can still receive the medicare drug discount identity card and save money on your prescriptions.
Some Medicare-approved drug discount card sponsors have special arrangements with drug manufacturers to offer free or reduced cost medications (which may be important if you have low income - as many Medicare recipients do).
Making a Choice
When comparing your Medicare-approved drug discount card choices, you may want to review:
- the drugs covered through each card (including generic alternatives)
- drug prices (at retail or through mail order), and
- choice of pharmacies in your area
You can do this by answering a few questions and reviewing the results.
You may also want to:
print and fill out the Worksheet:
- Five Steps to Choosing a Medicare-Approved Drug Discount Card
- or review the complete Guide to Choosing a Medicare-Approved Drug Discount Card
You can only enroll in one Medicare-approved drug discount card at a time.
Once you choose a Medicare-approved drug discount card, you will need to fill out an enrollment form. You can also view and print an enrollment form online. Click-here for Health Tip-of-the-Day.
Depending on the company, you can enroll by:
- mailing or faxing the completed form to the company
- providing your information over the telephone, or
- fill out your information on the-web
Once your enrollment form has been approved, you will be sent a medicare-approved drug discount card. They will also send specific materials you will need, like a member handbook, discount drug list, pharmacy provider directory, and complaint process.
Before you begin, you will need to know the following:
- What prescription medications are you currently taking?
- Name of each drug
- The dose (pill strength)
- How often you take the drug (for example, one tablet two times daily)
- What you pay for each drug
- All of this information can be found on your prescription bottles or the print out your pharmacy provides when you pick up your drug-store prescriptions.
Your recent income statements or tax forms may be helpful when figuring out your monthly income. Our frequently asked question titled:
- "I've heard I might be able to get a $300 credit
to help pay for my rx prescription drugs. How does that
work?" has information about which income sources
should or shouldn't be counted when figuring out your
- What is the amount of your available financial resources
including bank accounts, stocks, bonds?
- Do not include your house, a car, burial plots, furniture, and some life insurance.
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