MEDICARE | Prescription Drug Coverage for Rhode Island
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Important dates

Important Dates to Remember

October 1, 2005: You will begin receiving information from Medicare and Providers offering Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage. Also, auto enrollment for those who qualify for Extra Help begins.

Plans offering Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage are authorized for telemarketing. However, they cannot ask for your Social Security number, they must take you off their “Call List” upon your request and they can not enroll you over the telephone.


November 15, 2005 to May 15, 2006: Initial Enrollment Period for Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage. If you do not have Creditable Coverage and are not enrolled by May 16, 2005, you must enroll to avoid paying a higher premium at a later date (1% increase each month).

Medicare defines Creditable Coverage as coverage that is equal to or better than Medicare’s new prescription plan. Examples of such Creditable Coverage would be some group health, retiree or Medicare Advantage Plans, some State Pharmacy Assistance Programs, Veterans benefits or TRICARE for Life. Insurance plans will have to make the determination if they qualify as Creditable Coverage and are required to notify you.

Please note: RIPAE is not considered to be Creditable Coverage, therefore those on RIPAE need to apply for Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage.

January 1, 2006: Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage begins for beneficiaries who enroll before December 31, 2005. After December 31, coverage will begin the first day of the month after the beneficiary joins the plan.

May 15, 2006: Initial Enrollment Period ends. Those who are eligible must enroll to avoid a penalty when they enroll at a later date.


RIPAE participants and other Medicare beneficiaries are advised to join before May 15, 2006. If you do not enroll and do not have Creditable Coverage, you will be subject to an additional premium charge of 1% per month for each month that you were eligible and did not enroll in a Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage Plan.

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