Beginning January 1, 2006, new Medicare prescription drug plans were made available to people with Medicare. Insurance companies and other private companies are working with Medicare to offer these drug plans. The plans vary in where they are offered, what prescription drugs they cover, how much you have to pay, and which pharmacies you can use.
We have created this page to help New Jersey seniors and people with disabilities find the information they need to make informed decisions about prescription coverage.
If you are a current beneficiary or are interested in becoming a beneficiary of the State of New Jersey's Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled (PAAD) or Senior Gold Prescription Discount programs, please call toll-free 1-800-792-9745 or visit www.njpaad.gov or www.njsrgold.gov for important information about how the Medicare Prescription Drug Program works with the PAAD and Senior Gold programs.
- The first deadline for enrolling in a Medicare prescription drug plan was May 15, 2006.
- If you were eligible for Medicare before May 15, 2006 and you didn't enroll in a Medicare prescription plan and you didn't have prescription coverage through a former employer or union plan that's as good as or better than Medicare's coverage, you now have to wait for the annual enrollment period -- October 15 to December 7 -- to sign on with a plan, and you may have to pay a late-enrollment fee set by law at 1% per monthly premium increase.
- If you have Medicare and Medicaid, receive SSI, or the State of New Jersey pays your Medicare Part B monthly premiums, and you don't have other prescription coverage that is as good as or better that Medicare's coverage, you may enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan at any time. Coverage will take effect the first day of the following month.
- When you first become eligible for Medicare, you have three months to enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan. (NOTE: the Medicare Prescription Drug Program follows the same enrollment timeframe as Medicare Part B. This means people have a 7-month enrollment period, which begins three months prior to the month they turn 65 and ends three months after their birthday month). Sign up later on, and you will be subject to the 1% per month late enrollment fee.
Most of the information you will need can be found here at the Medicare website.
Compare Plans Available in New Jersey
This website will help you find out if a plan is available where you live, if they cover the prescription drugs you are taking, and if your pharmacy is a member of their network.
Extra Help from the Social Security Administration
You may be able to get extra help to pay for the premiums, annual deductible, and co-payments related to the new Medicare Prescription Drug Program - an average of $3,900 in extra help. If you are interested in applying for New Jersey's PAAD benefits and you are eligible for the extra help related to the Medicare Prescription Drug Program, you will be required to apply for the extra help. The PAAD program will help you. Contact the PAAD program at 1-800-792-9745 to learn more.
Medicare Counseling through SHIP
SHIP - the State Health Insurance Assistance Program - provides free, objective and confidential help to New Jersey Medicare beneficiaries who have problems with, or questions about, Medicare, Medigap, Medicare Advantage Plans, Medicare Prescription Drug Plans and Long-Term Care Insurance.
Prescription (PAAD & Senior Gold), Hearing Aid & Utility Assistance
The Division of Senior Benefits and Utilization Management administers New Jersey's pharmacy assistance programs - PAAD & Senior Gold - and other services for lower income seniors and persons with disabilities.
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