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Medicare Open Enrollment & Part D Program

Sitka, October 15, 2021 – SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Patient Health Benefits would like to remind Medicare beneficiaries that it is time to evaluate their prescription drug plans. Each year the plans change their formularies, so it is important to ensure the medications you take are covered by the plan you pay for. This year there are 19 Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plans available to purchase in Alaska. The premiums for these range from $7.30 to $96.70.

“Medicare Part D plans change every year.  Don’t risk spending money needlessly when we are here to help.” Said Susan Briles, SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Patient Health Benefits Supervisor. “A few minutes of your time could save you money and headaches in the coming year.”

In 2020, SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) launched a program for eligible Native American and Alaska Native beneficiaries to pay patient premiums for Medicare Part D. More than 1,000 eligible patients were identified across the Consortium who could qualify for this program to receive non-formulary medications with no out-of-pocket costs.

Medicare Part D covers most outpatient prescription drugs, including antiseizure, antidepressants, cancer treatments, and more. It is recommended that patients 65 and older sign up for Part D when first receiving Medicare. SEARHC has discovered that a large portion of Medicare beneficiaries do not pay for a Medicare Part D plan, and the SEARHC Patient Health Benefits (PHB) team is working to ensure all eligible patients are aware of this opportunity.

To qualify for the SEARHC Medicare Part D Program, patients must have Medicare A and/or Part B, no retirement insurance coverage, reside in the SEARHC Care Network and be receiving Indian Health Services (IHS) benefits. Patients must also not be eligible for Medicaid or Medicare Extra Help program.

“We recommend all eligible patients sign up for a Medicare Part D plan, even if they already receive SEARHC services,” says Susan Briles, PHB Supervisor. “Not only does Part D ensure prescription coverage when traveling, but it benefits your community and healthcare system by providing SEARHC with prescription reimbursement.”

If you have questions about Medicare Plan D or need assistance signing up for healthcare coverage, contact the SEARHC PHB team at 907.966.8662 or outreach@searhc.org. The Medicare open enrollment period is Friday, October 15 through December 7, 2021.