Guide to Medicare Part D: What If I Already Have Prescription Drug Coverage From Another Source?

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This page is part of our Guide to Medicare Part D.

If you have prescription drug coverage through a private insurance company, or an employer/retiree plan, or VA, or a union plan, or a supplemental (Medigap) policy, you may not need Part D coverage.

You should have received a letter, or a newsletter, or other information from your insurance provider stating whether your prescription drug coverage qualifies as "creditable coverage."

If you have not received a letter describing whether your prescription drug coverage qualifies as "creditable coverage," contact your insurance plan Administrator or Human Resources department.

"Creditable Coverage" means that your other source of prescription drug coverage is at least as good as Part D coverage.

If your current prescription drug coverage qualifies as "creditable coverage," you DO NOT need Part D coverage.

NOTE: If you have Medicaid AND Medicare, as well as "creditable coverage" from another source, you first need to read your creditable coverage letter to see if having coverage from both results in any loss of health care coverage. If you will lose any health care coverage by having both, you need to decide which is more valuable to you, the coverage you will lose or the new Medicare prescription drug coverage. If you wish to decline Medicare Part D you must call 1-800-MEDICARE, or the insurance company that you have been assigned.


Reviewed August 2009

This online guide was adapted with permission from Maine Legal Services for the Elderly. We extend our thanks to them.