The 2015 Medicare Part D open enrollment season is now underway, which means that Legal Aid and Whitman-Walker Health are again offering Medicare Part D clinics as we have done for the past nine years. Regular readers of our blog know that Medicare Part D offers prescription drug coverage for Medicare beneficiaries.
Why is it important to have a Medicare Part D check up? Each year, the private prescription drug plans that offer coverage under Medicare Part D change. As a result, the plan a beneficiary is in this year may no longer cover their drugs next year or may start charging a monthly premium. For some individuals with low income, enrolling in the right Medicare Part D plan could potentially save hundreds of dollars that would otherwise be spent paying out-of-pocket for a prescription drug.
As one example, last year, “Rita,” an 86 year old woman with severe visual impairments, would have faced $7,900 in drug costs if the volunteer at Legal Aid had not changed her plan. With his analysis and plan change, he got her into a plan where she faced no out of pocket costs.
Legal Aid and Whitman-Walker Health rely on the help of volunteers from law firms who meet with clients in person or on the phone at one of the scheduled clinics. Using the Medicare website, they run a customized analysis using the client’s drug list and dosages to determine which plan will best meet the client’s needs.
Last year, Legal Aid helped more than 200 clients maintain and protect their prescription drug coverage with the help of more than 70 volunteer attorneys who attended the trainings and staffed the clinics. We are grateful to our partners Whitman-Walker Health, Bread for the City and Hogan Lovells, and all of the volunteers for their efforts again this year.
In-person clinics will be held at our offices in NW and SE on a walk-in basis. There will also be one walk-in clinic at each of the Bread for the City locations in NW and SE.