Changes to Medicare Part D in 2017

Posted:October 20, 2016

Medicare’s open enrollment period began last Saturday, October 15. The open enrollment period, a time frame where Medicare beneficiaries can change their health and prescription drug plans for 2017, is open until December 7.

There are changes to Medicare set to occur on January 1, 2017. For Part D prescription drug coverage, the initial deductible is increasing to $400, and the initial coverage limit is increasing to $3,700. After a Medicare beneficiary’s total cost on covered prescription drugs in 2017 reaches $3,700, the beneficiary will enter the coverage gap, also known as the “donut hole.”

These increases are compared to a $360 deductible and a $3,310 initial coverage limit in 2016. “Total cost” includes the deductible, member copayments, and what the Medicare Part D plan pays.   Medicare Part D plans, which are insured by private insurance companies in exchange for a monthly premium, can also cover the deductible and/or provide coverage gap protection. Members of Labor First administered group Part D plans can contact our team of Retiree Advocates to learn more about their local union’s 2017 plan design.