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Monthly Premiums and Medicare Part D

Monthly Premiums and Medicare Part D

Depending on your income, which plan you choose, and when you choose it, Medicare Part D monthly premiums and coverage may differ for each plan. Some participants may have higher monthly premiums, while others may pay lower monthly premiums. Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans also have different coverages-in some cases better than what is required by Medicare. It is, however, important to remember that better coverage often is accompanied with higher premiums.

Learn which Empire plans are available in your area and compare your options. Empire has online tools to help you do comparisons of the types of plans that might be best for you , as well as the ability to view which medications are covered, and a list of pharmacies in your area that accept a given plan.

Special reasons some participants may pay higher monthly premiums

People with higher incomes pay a higher income-related premium for Medicare Part D. This is called the income-related monthly adjustment amount. The Social Security Administration estimates that fewer than 5% of people on Medicare pay these higher amounts.

Late-enrollment penalties are another reason some participants may pay higher monthly premiums for Medicare Part D. Reasons that participants may pay a late-enrollment penalty in the form of higher monthly premiums include:

  • The Medicare-eligible participant spent more than 63 days without being enrolled in Medicare Part D.
  • The participant was not part of a creditable prescription drug plan through another insurance provider.

Medicare.gov offers more information on late enrollment fees.

Premiums are only part of a participant's costs

Low premiums may sound like an excellent way to decide which drug plan to choose, however, it is important to first consider whether your specific drugs are covered by the plan and to determine other fees you may pay. There may be yearly deductibles, copayments and other costs beyond monthly premium amounts, and, is why it is important to compare plans before choosing the one that works best for you.

Extra Help programs

Extra Help is a Medicare program that assists participants with low incomes and limited financial resources. Depending on a person's circumstances, the Extra Help program may enable a participant to pay nothing or very small amounts for Medicare Part D monthly premiums, drug copayments and yearly deductibles.

The Social Security Administration has resources where participants can see if they qualify for the Extra Help program, and apply for that help online.


Y0071_14_18458_U CMS Accepted 10/12/2013
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Empire BlueCross BlueShield is an HMO Health plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Empire BlueCross BlueShield depends on contract renewal. Empire BlueCross is an HMO plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Empire BlueCross depends on contract renewal.
Services provided by Empire HealthChoice HMO, Inc. licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans.

Empire BlueCross BlueShield is an LPPO plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Empire BlueCross BlueShield depends on contract renewal. Empire BlueCross is an LPPO plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Empire BlueCross depends on contract renewal.
Services provided by Empire HealthChoice Assurance, Inc. licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans.

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