Medicare Part D Plans: Health Information for Older People

I’m getting calls about switching to a new Medicare prescription drug plan. The caller says the plan will save me money. He said I could enroll on the phone. How do I know what I’m getting?

Medicare Part D plans are prescription drug plans that work like insurance, and they’re open to anyone with Medicare. The right plan may help control your future drugs costs and may even lower your current costs.

Each Part D plan is different — each can cover different drugs or be available only in a certain area. Medicare doesn’t operate the plans; it simply approves insurance companies or other private companies to do that job. But the providers have to follow Medicare rules that limit how they promote their plans. Unfortunately, some plan representatives occasionally break the rules and use high-pressure sales tactics and false promises to try to enroll you in a plan that may not cover the drugs you take. Or, scammers may pretend to be Part D providers trying to get your personal information — such as your Medicare number — to commit ID theft.

It’s important to know the rules and do business only with providers that follow them. People who represent Medicare drug plans can’t send you emails you didn’t ask for or show up at your house uninvited. They can’t charge you a fee to enroll or ask you to pay by phone or online. They must send a bill. They can call to tell you about a plan if you’re not on the National Do Not Call Registry, but they can’t sign you up unless you call them. For more on Part D solicitations and how to protect yourself, visit the FTC website. Report rule-breakers to the Medicare Drug Integrity Contractors (MEDICs) program.

Learn more about Medicare Part D and compare plans available in your area at Medicare.gov. Your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) also can point you to local resources that offer free customized advice. Look up your SHIP at the Medicare website.

To find and compare Part D plans, use the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder at Medicare.gov.

Who Cares About Medicare Part D Plans?

Medicare
1-800-633-4227
(TTY: 1-877-486-2048)

FTC
1-877-382-4357
(TTY: 1-866-653-4261)

Reporting a Provider or Potential Scam

Medicare Drug Integrity Contractors (MEDICs)
1-877-772-3379

Stopping Unwanted Sales Calls

National Do Not Call Registry
1-888-382-1222
(TTY: 1-866-290-4236)

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