Understanding Medicare Insurance Options for Multiple Sclerosis Therapy

  • by  Chasity A.
  •   October 07, 2019

Chasity A. has been compensated by Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.

It’s that time of year again: open enrollment. Annual insurance updates can be overwhelming. Plan ahead by learning more about Medicare and reading tips to stay organized. Then, see how Teva’s Benefits Specialists could help you understand coverage options for your COPAXONE® (glatiramer acetate injection) prescription.

Read these tips as you’re considering Medicare. You can also call Teva’s Benefits Specialists at 1-800-887-8100 to discuss your questions or to learn more about your insurance coverage.

Medicare isn’t a "one size fits all" program:

There are four basic parts of coverage: Original Medicare (Parts A and B), Medicare Advantage (Part C), and prescription drug coverage (Part D).

  • Medicare Advantage (Part C) is a health plan offered by private insurance companies contracted and approved by Medicare and may also include prescription drug coverage (Part D).
  • Contingent on the decision you make, you may add a Medigap policy, a supplemental coverage to Original Medicare Part A and B benefits only.

Costs:

Costs can be dependent on the coverage you choose as well as the services that you receive. Regardless of the coverage choice you make, you'll pay a share of your costs with premiums, deductibles, copays, and co-insurance.

  • If you have a limited income or need financial assistance, there are resources available from federal, state, and local agencies and charitable organizations.
    • Federal: Extra help with Medicare Prescription Plan cost
    • State: Medicaid and Medicare Savings programs
    • Local: Many states and local territories have programs to assist with premiums and/or other drug-related costs for those who may not be eligible for Medicaid.
    • Charitable organizations: These are non-profit 501(c)(3) foundations that provide grants for a specific diagnosis.

Deadlines: 

There are defined times when you’re able to add, drop, or make changes to your coverage. It's important to know and understand the different enrollment periods and their deadlines. You can be penalized with fees or go without coverage if you miss your cutoff date.

  • Initial Enrollment Period (IEP): A 7-month period surrounding your Medicare eligibility date.
  • Annual Enrollment Period (AEP): A period that allows anyone to make changes to their coverage.
  • Special Enrollment Period (SEP): Allows you to make changes to your coverage under special, qualified circumstances.
  • Medigap Open Enrollment Period: The 6-month period that starts when you are both age 65 and enrolled in Part B.

Organize and strategize:

Whether you use a filing cabinet, app, or spreadsheet to arrange your records, it's important to have a designated place for your paperwork to be organized. You should:

  • Keep it simple by using categories and removing the items that are no longer needed.
  • Store records of your insurance information, including copies of cards, identification, and phone numbers. 
  • If you’re receiving financial assistance, you should keep award letters and set reminders of renewal and expiration dates, re-application timeframes, and other important deadlines.

Everyone has personal records, important business, and never-ending to-do lists. Think about how you'll choose coverage and services wisely, use your resources to reduce cost, and most importantly, stay organized with your paperwork and record keeping.

Don’t forget to join the Lift MS® community on Facebook to get more information about managing MS. You can also stay up to date by registering to receive future posts from Teva’s Lift MS® blog!

Chasity A.

COPAXONE® (glatiramer acetate injection) is a prescription medicine that is used to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS), to include clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting disease, and active secondary progressive disease, in adults.

Do not use COPAXONE® if you are allergic to glatiramer acetate or mannitol.

See Important Safety Information below and full Prescribing Information for Copaxone® (glatiramer acetate Injection).

COP-46147 September 2019
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6 Comment(s)
  • Pauline Buell  | October 12, 2018
    Info helping me find some help with Copaxone cost I have insurance so it would be partial assistance
  • Lashawn  | October 13, 2018
    Thank your for these tips
    • Teva's Lift MS® Team | October 15, 2018
      Hurray! We love hearing that Lift MS has been helpful – that’s just what we intended! We appreciate your part in those efforts, Lashawn.
  • merlene | October 26, 2018
    Very helpful.medicare is very confusing.
    • Teva's Lift MS® Team | October 29, 2018
      We’re so glad to hear our community has been helpful to you, merlene. You’re part of what makes this blog great!
  • Dixon | October 29, 2018
    I enjoyed read all the information..thank you
    • Teva's Lift MS® Team | October 30, 2018
      That's great to hear, Dixon! We hope you'll enjoy reading more of the posts featured on the blog. Let us know what you think!
  • lisa | August 01, 2019
    i become medicare eligible in october of this year, so I lose my retiree benefits from Blue Cross. i have been on Copaxone for about 10 years now . I am trying to select the best Medicare drug plan to minimize the very expensive costs associated with Cpaxone. I am currently takin 40 mil three times a week> do you have any advice for me?
  • John Doe | October 14, 2019
    This is great information. Thank you.
    • Teva's Lift MS® Team | October 15, 2019
      Thank you for the kind words, John.