Alert
Close

Introducing AARP RealPad: The Wi-Fi Tablet That Makes It Easy to Share, Learn, Connect and Play. Learn more

HIGHLIGHTS

Open
10,000 Games Galore Sweepstakes from AARP

AUTO BUYING PROGRAM

AARP Auto Buying Program

DRIVER SAFETY

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

Contests and
Sweeps

Safe Driving in 2014 Sweepstakes

Learn how AARP Driver Safety can help you stay safe—and enter for a chance to win $1,000. See official rules. 

Download the ipad App

AARP-iPad-ePub-app

KEEP BRAIN ACTIVE!

AARP Games - Play Now!

AARP Books

Medicare for Dummies book cover

Get the answers you need, from Patricia Barry, AARP's Ask Ms. Medicare

Most Popular

Viewed

Nothing has been viewed

share your Thoughts

Reader stories help us fine-tune our education efforts and strengthen our calls for action on issues that matter most to you. We read and learn from every story and may use yours (with permission) to brief legislators, inspire other readers and more. Please share your story with us. Do

Ask Ms. Medicare

What to Do if Your Current Medicare Plan Won't Exist Next Year

Don't worry, you still have choices

Part D prescription drug plans

Whatever state you live in, you'll still have plenty of choices in 2012 among these private "stand-alone" plans, which provide prescription drug coverage to people enrolled in traditional Medicare. The options range from 25 plans in Hawaii and Alaska to 36 in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. But some plans will be unavailable next year.

What you can do: Compare plans that are available in your state using the online drug plan finder on the Medicare website. If you enter your ZIP code and the names of the prescription drugs you take, plus their dosages and how often you take them, the plan finder automatically does the math to find the plan that covers all your drugs at the lowest out-of-pocket cost. Or call the Medicare help-line at 1-800-633-4227 for the same information.

Even if your current plan will still be available next year, making this comparison is still very worthwhile. Every year, most Part D plans change their premiums, deductibles and copayments. In 2012, premiums will slightly fall on average nationwide, but some plans will charge substantially lower premiums and others much higher ones than this year. You can compare plans and, if you want, switch to another during open enrollment, between October 15 and December 7. Coverage in the new plan starts Jan. 1.

Can you lose your drug coverage if you take no action?  It depends on the circumstances:  

•    You will not lose coverage if your current Part D plan is still offered for 2012. Unless you actively switch to another plan, your current coverage will automatically continue next year in the plan you have now.

•    You will not lose coverage if your current plan is disappearing but the insurance company that provides it offers another plan.  You will be automatically switched to this other plan for 2012, unless you take steps to enroll in different plan from another insurer.

•    You will lose coverage if the insurance company that provides your current plan withdraws from the Medicare Part D program in your area for 2012 and you do not enroll in another plan from a different insurer for next year.  In this case, if you take no action, you will not be able to join another plan until open enrollment at the end of 2012. You will also receive a late penalty for the 12 months you were without drug coverage, in the form of a surcharge permanently added to your Part D premiums.

Next: What to do if you lose medigap coverage. >>

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Reading eyeglasses eyemed 6 membership benefit health

Members save 25% on orders of $200 or more and get 25% off lens upgrades at glasses.com.

AARP/Walgreens Wellness Bus Stops in Clarksdale, MS

Members can get exclusive points offers from Walgreens and Duane Reade.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Official Sweepstakes Rules