The monthly plan premium for senior citizens who want to avail of additional Medicare coverage will go down in 2013.
From $17.10 this year, the monthly premium will be cut to $9.60-a decrease of almost 44 percent for eligible man'amko in the CNMI.
The co-pays or co-insurance will also decrease based on Medicare's Annual Notice of Changes for 2013.
This is welcome news for the islands' elderly, many of whom avail of the Medicare Part D prescription drug insurance open enrollment offered by Brabu Pharmacy and Wellness Center.
“We have already assisted over 80 people to enroll,” said Brabu co-owner Kathy Yuknavage, referring to the Medicare Part D enrollment.
Medicare Part D, which was enacted as part of the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 but took effect on Jan. 1, 2006, is a federal program to subsidize the costs of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries.
Individuals are eligible for prescription drug coverage under Part D plan if they are entitled to benefits under Medicare Part A, which covers hospitalization, and Part B, which covers physician's visit.
According to Yuknavage, the coverage for seniors who avail of the open enrollment period will become effective on Jan. 1, 2013.
“However, if they just received their red, white and blue Medicare Part A card this year, their coverage will become effective on their birthday,” she added.
Yuknavage noted that if someone failed to enroll in Part D when they first received their Medicare card for Part A, that person will have to pay a late penalty fee unless the person had other insurance coverage such as Medicaid, Aetna, Calvo's or Staywell.
“If they did have other insurance coverage, we will be happy to assist them to fill out and send in the necessary forms to have the late penalty waived. We're here to help,” said Yuknavage.
To enroll or for more information, visit Brabu Pharmacy along Middle Road in Gualo Rai or call 233-AMOT (2668).