New Benefits At-a-Glance
WebMD Medical Reference
Many changes have been made to
Medicare in recent
years. Some changes apply now. Others will go into
effect over the next few years. Here's how it breaks
- Anyone enrolled in Medicare can apply for a drug
discount card up through December, 2005. These can save you 10% to 25% on
- You may also qualify for a credit to pay for
prescriptions. Single people who make $12,919 a year or less and married
couples with an annual income of $17,320 or less are eligible.
- If you applied by March 2005, you got the full $600
credit. After that month, the later you apply, the smaller the credit. People
who applied between April 1 and June 30 received a $450 credit; people who
apply between July 1 and September 30 will get a $300 credit; people who apply
between October 1 and December 31 will get a $150 credit. This credit can be
used until May 15, 2006 or until someone signs up for a Medicare Prescription
Drug Plan - whichever comes first.
- Medicare pays for a "welcome physical checkup" when
you enroll in Medicare Part B, covering office visits. You must get the
checkup within six months of enrolling in Medicare.
- Blood tests to screen for heart disease are
covered for the first time. This includes cholesterol tests.
- Tests to screen for diabetes are covered
for the first time.
- Your deductible for Medicare Part B is $110.
The fee goes up every year to keep pace with