National Alliance on Mental Illness
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Medicare Drug Benefit Update:  2010 Plan Year Enrollment Begins

November 19, 2009

This week marks the start of the open enrollment period for the Medicare Part D drug benefit for 2010.  The "open season" period for 2010 drug plan enrollment runs through December 31.  Medicare beneficiaries will be able to select prescription drug coverage that goes into effect on January 1, 2010. 

As the 2010 plan year approaches, NAMI is watching closely to ensure that beneficiaries with serious mental illness, especially low-income dual eligibles, are able to maintain continued access to drug coverage that meets their complex treatment needs.  Of particular concern are the more than 1.16 million dual eligibles and low-income subsidy (LIS) Medicare beneficiaries that are being required to switch to different prescription drug plans (PDPs) on January 1. 

For more information on the important issue of Medicare drug plan reassignment of dual eligibles and LIS beneficiaries for 2010, click here.

Wed-Based Search Tools for 2010 Drug Plan Options

There are a number of important web-based tools to search available plan options, research weather or not a specific medication is on a plan’s formulary for 2010 – or is subject to an access restriction (placed on a tier requiring higher cost sharing, prior authorization, step therapy, quantity limit, etc.).  Most can be searched by zip code to check on availability by geographic region.  Here are a few links to these websites:

CMS Open Enrollment Center

CMS 2010 Plan Finder

Online Enrollment for 2010

CMS Overview of Prescription Drug Coverage

CMS 2010 Formulary Finder
Additional information

Medicare Access for Patients (MAPRx)

Access to Benefits Coalition