I think I blazed a new trail that might help other people. My husband is 65+ and is still working full time. His employer's health insurance covers us both but the co-pays are really high, especially for prescriptions. I discovered that he can be covered under Medicare Part A (hospitalization) for free. Once he is on Part A he can sign up for Medicare Part D (drug coverage). Then BOTH drug plans-- his employer's insurance and his Part D insurance-- will apply and his prescription co-pays will go way, way down.
Now before you all start screaming and yelling at me and telling me that it can't work, it does work. He usually pays $65-$100/mo for co-pays. This month he paid $5.13 for drug co-pays plus $20 for the Part D insurance premium (the SilverScript $0 deductible plan). This is the first month we have tried it. If it continues to work this well in the future, I will do the same thing when I turn 65 later this year.
Now I must admit that this was the TOUGHEST bureaucratic battle I have ever fought! Nobody, absolutely NOBODY I talked to agreed that this was even possible. His HR department, Medicare, ExpressScripts, BCBS, Georgia Eldercare assistance, local pharmacists, etc. Everybody said that you have to choose either the employer's plan or a Part D plan, not both. Or they said that you must have Medicare Plan B (physicians coverage) at >$120/mo before you can purchase any Plan D. They were all wrong.
I found the Medicare rules online and it said that "coordination of benefits" for drug plans is legally required. And I found the National Association of Pharmacies guidance about coordination of benefits and it said exactly how to do it. So I plunged ahead, bought Plan D and then worked with our local pharmacy to get the coordination benefits into their computer. Based on this first month's transactions, it worked and it's saving us money. When I join, it will save us a lot more money.
So if you are 65 or over and still working, it might behoove you to purchase a Part D plan to help reduce your prescription costs. If you need help fighting the bureaucracy, give me a shout.
Chrysalis, thanks for starting a discussion thread about this topic!
Good for you that you persevered! There certainly is no reason why it shouldn't work, because Part D is stand-alone as long as you are Medicare-eligible.
Congratulations on your success.
Just an update on this topic...
My husband has had SilverScript Part D ($20/mo with no deductible) for 5 months (I'm still too young to qualify, thank heavens ). So far this year the 2 of us have spent $211 on prescriptions. The same 5 months in 2014 we spent $720 on the same prescriptions. Even with the premiums we have saved $400 in 5 months-- close to $1,000/yr! And once I am eligible, we will save even more. My advice is to do it if you possibly can!
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