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Medicare Part D Basic Information and Updates
Background
All Medicare beneficiaries – no matter how they get their health insurance today or whether they have existing drug coverage – are eligible for drug coverage under a Medicare prescription drug plan. These plans cover both brand names and generic drugs. And, very importantly, there is extra help for those in need.
The Basic Plan
Insurance companies and other private companies work with Medicare to offer these drug plans and negotiate discounts on drug prices. These plans are different from the Medicare-approved drug discount cards that phased out in 2006. The cards offered discounts, while the plans offer insurance coverage for prescription drugs. When Medicare beneficiaries join a drug plan, it is important that they choose one that meets their prescription needs. Beneficial resources can be found at  1-800-MEDICARE and www.medicare.gov.
CMS Update
CMS has facilitated a smooth transition to Medicare prescription drug coverage; however, we recognize that the new Medicare drug benefit is not immune to the usual benefit transition issues. To assist pharmacists in understanding plan transition policies, we developed a transition policy document by Plan. (Posted 1/12/2006)