Medicare Rx Access Network: Protecting Part D

Medicare Part D is incredibly important to a number of patients throughout New York State. In fact, it covered 40.5 million Americans in 2014 (source)! Protecting it is important, as it provides these patients access to medications they need to stay healthy all year long, no matter what their health is or what conditions they have.

Learn more about Medicare Part D today!

What Is Medicare Part D?

Part D, also called the Medicare prescription drug benefit, is one way in which Medicare recipients can get vital prescription medication coverage. In effect since January 1, 2006, it’s available to all Medicare recipients who receive healthcare coverage benefits under Part A and/or Part B. Part D is a government-sponsored program that subsidizes the costs of prescription drugs and drug insurance premiums for people enrolled in Medicare. Part D drug plans are run by Medicare-approved private insurance companies.

One of the most important aspects of Medicare Part D is the assurance it provides to seniors and persons with disabilities who need medications that fall under six specific protected categories.

Helping patients with medical issues such as mental illness, HIV, cancer, epilepsy and more, Medicare Part D protects six specific classes of medicines, including:

  • Anticonvulsants: Drugs primarily used in the treatment of epileptic seizures, though also considered for use in treatment of bipolar and borderline personality disorders, chronic pain, and more.
  • Antidepressants: Drugs used primarily to treat major depressive disorder and other common conditions, such as eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, addiction and more.
  • Antineoplastics: Anticancer drugs that inhibit and prevent the growth and spread of tumors and malignant cells.
  • Antipsychotics: Drugs used to manage psychosis for patients with illnesses such as schizophrenia.
  • Antiretrovirals: Medications primarily used to treat HIV/AIDS.
  • Immunosuppressants: Medications necessary for patients who have recently received a transplanted organ, reducing chances of rejection or complications.

As you can tell from the above list, these medications are critically important to the health and happiness of thousands of Americans. Medicare Part D ensures its recipients have affordable access to lifesaving medications.

How Do I Enroll in Medicare Part D? explains how Medicare recipients can get prescription drug coverage. You can find options and information on how to enroll here. Medicare Interactive also provides a great description of the process by which you can enroll in Medicare Part D. Find it here!

As you consider your options, make sure to look at all of the costs associated with healthcare coverage. Look at your drug costs – not just the premium. Your costs will vary based on the prescription medications you need.

Medicare Part D: 10 Years Old

Interested in learning more about Medicare Part D, or raising awareness of it in your community? The Medicare Rx Access Network of New York is a coalition of NY-based healthcare groups, including patient advocacy organizations, professionals associations, social service organizations and senior care organizations. Follow the organization on Facebook and Twitter.

10 years after its start, Medicare Part D continues to provide incredible and important access to medications. If you’re a Medicare Part A or Part B recipient, make sure you explore your prescription drug plan options before the next enrollment period.