Federal law requires the University to provide the information below to those members of the faculty and staff who are Medicare eligible. This information may also be of interest to individuals who are considering retirement. Please contact Human Resources if you have any questions or would like additional information.
”The notice below applies only to those faculty and staff and their dependents who are covered under the Drew University medical plan who are Medicare eligible.”
Medicare’s prescription drug plan, commonly called Medicare Part D, is open to everyone eligible for Medicare; participation is voluntary and plans are offered through private insurance companies.
You are currently enrolled in the Drew University Health Plan offered through United Healthcare, which includes prescription drug coverage. Our health plans are all inclusive and do not allow us to separate the medical and prescription coverage.
Our plan provides “creditable coverage” which means our prescription drug coverage equals or exceeds the value of standard prescription drug coverage under Medicare Part D. This means you do NOT have to drop our coverage and enroll in Medicare Part D.
This information can help you decide whether or not you want to keep your current plan or enroll in a Medicare Part D plan. We can neither recommend nor suggest what you should do; we can only provide you with information so you can make an informed choice. We have included an informational notice from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) with information about the Drew Health Plan. We recommend that you save this letter as proof that you are enrolled in a plan that offers “creditable coverage.”
Important Notice from Drew University About
Your Prescription Drug Coverage and Medicare
Please read this notice carefully and keep it where you can find it. This notice has information about your current prescription drug coverage with Drew University and about your options under Medicare’s prescription drug coverage. This information can help you decide whether or not you want to join a Medicare drug plan. If you are considering joining, you should compare your current coverage, including which drugs are covered at what cost, with the coverage and costs of the plans offering Medicare prescription drug coverage in your area. Information about where you can get help to make decisions about your prescription drug coverage is at the end of this notice.
There are two important things you need to know about your current coverage and Medicare’s prescription drug coverage:
- Medicare prescription drug coverage became available in 2006 to everyone with Medicare. You can get this coverage if you join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan or join a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO) that offers prescription drug coverage. All Medicare drug plans provide at least a standard level of coverage set by Medicare. Some plans may also offer more coverage for a higher monthly premium.
- Drew University has determined that the prescription drug coverage offered by the United Healthcare plan is, on average for all plan participants, expected to pay out as much as standard Medicare prescription drug coverage pays and is therefore considered Creditable Coverage. Because your existing coverage is Creditable Coverage, you can keep this coverage and not pay a higher premium (a penalty) if you later decide to join a Medicare drug plan.
When Can You Join A Medicare Drug Plan?
You can join a Medicare drug plan when you first become eligible for Medicare and each year from October 15th to December 7th.
However, if you lose your current creditable prescription drug coverage, through no fault of your own, you will also be eligible for a two (2) month Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to join a Medicare drug plan.
What Happens To Your Current Coverage If You Decide to Join A Medicare Drug Plan?
If you decide to join a Medicare drug plan, your current United Healthcare coverage will be affected. Your current coverage through United Healthcare pays for other health expenses in addition to prescription drugs. You will not be eligible to receive all of your current health and prescription drug benefits if you choose to enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan.
If you do decide to join a Medicare prescription plan and drop your current Drew University prescription drug coverage, be aware that you and your dependents will not be able to get this coverage back.
When Will You Pay A Higher Premium (Penalty) To Join A Medicare Drug Plan?
You should also know that if you drop or lose your current coverage with Drew University and don’t join a Medicare drug plan within 63 continuous days after your current coverage ends, you may pay a higher premium (a penalty) to join a Medicare drug plan later.
If you go 63 continuous days or longer without creditable prescription drug coverage, your monthly premium may go up by at least 1% of the Medicare base beneficiary premium per month for every month that you did not have that coverage. For example, if you go nineteen months without creditable coverage, your premium may consistently be at least 19% higher than the Medicare base beneficiary premium. You may have to pay this higher premium (a penalty) as long as you have Medicare prescription drug coverage. In addition, you may have to wait until the following October to join.
For More Information About This Notice Or Your Current Prescription Drug Coverage…
Contact the person listed below for further information at 973 408 3515. NOTE: You will get this notice each year. You will also get it before the next period you can join a Medicare drug plan, and if this coverage through Drew University changes. You also may request a copy of this notice at any time.
For More Information About Your Options Under Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage…
More detailed information about Medicare plans that offer prescription drug coverage is in the “Medicare & You” handbook. You’ll get a copy of the handbook in the mail every year from Medicare. You may also be contacted directly by Medicare drug plans.
For more information about Medicare prescription drug coverage:
- Visit www.medicare.gov
- Call your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (see the inside back cover of your copy of the “Medicare & You” handbook for their telephone number) for personalized help
- Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048
If you have limited income and resources, extra help paying for Medicare prescription drug coverage is available. For information about this extra help, visit Social Security on the web at www.socialsecurity.gov, or call them at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).
Remember: Keep this Creditable Coverage notice. If you decide to join one of the Medicare drug plans, you may be required to provide a copy of this notice when you join to show whether or not you have maintained creditable coverage and, therefore, whether or not you are required to pay a higher premium (a penalty).