Senior Focus March 11

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Medicare Part D Prescription Program provides clients with assistance for paying for prescription drugs.

The annual enrollment period runs from Nov. 15 to Dec. 31. The Medicare Law establishes a standard Part D benefit plan. Because the deductible, coverage limits and annual out-of-pocket costs change each year, costs to people on Plan D may increase annually.

Here are the 2009 standard benefits for Prescription Part D:

* You pay the first $295 (this is your deductible).

* You pay 25 percent of the next $2,405 (25 percent of $2,405 is $601.25).

* The "donut hole" is reached at $2,700 ($295 plus $2,405 equals $2,700).

* You pay 100 percent of the next $3,453.75.

* Catastrophic coverage begins after you have spent $4,350 ($295 plus $601.25 plus $3,453.75 equals $4,350).

Prescription drug coverage under Part D is voluntary. A person does not have to have both Part A and Part B coverage to choose a prescription drug plan.

A person must enroll in a Part D plan that serves the geographic area in which they live.

Putnam County Tours 2009 Schedule

* March 14 -- Jungle Jim's Cooking School, Cincinnati, Ohio

* April 25 -- Shelbyville race track and casino

* June 9-11 -- Chicago

* Oct. 13-16 -- Gatlinburg, Tenn.

Jim Stevens is the director of the Putnam County Senior Center.

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