Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Medicare Part D became effective Jan. 1, 2006, as a result of the Medicare Prescription
Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003. Medicare Part D is a prescription
drug benefit provided by private insurance companies and other providers approved
by Medicare and contract with the federal government.
Who qualifies for TEAMStar Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans (PDP)?
Teamster retirees, spouses, and surviving spouses who are entitled to Medicare Part A and/or enrolled in Medicare Part B and live in the plan's service area qualify for TEAMStar Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Program (PDP). Participation is not automatic — you
must enroll in Medicare Part D to receive benefits. You are entitled to this program
regardless of your health history or the drugs you take.
When can I sign up?
Your participation in Part D is not automatic. The annual enrollment period (AEP)
begins Oct. 15 and ends Dec. 7, with coverage
taking effect Jan. 1 of the following year. Provided you maintain
continuous coverage, individuals enrolled in Medicare Part D are allowed to switch
plans every year, during the AEP, which will be effective Jan. 1 of the following
What are the benefits of Part D?
Whatever TEAMStar plan you choose, Medicare prescription drug coverage assists with
your expenses for brand-name and generic drugs.
How much does it cost?
Although Medicare subsidizes the cost, you must pay a monthly TEAMStar Part D premium.
Additionally, you may pay a deductible, depending on which plan you choose. You
also are responsible for a copayment/coinsurance for your prescription drugs, which
varies, depending on which TEAMStar plan you choose.
Most people will pay a Part D premium. However, some people will pay a higher
premium because of their yearly income (over $85,000 for singles, $170,000 for married
couples). For more information about Part D premiums based on income, call Medicare
at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.
You may also call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213. TTY users
should call 1-800-325-0778.
Can I qualify for Extra Help?
If you have limited income and financial resources, you may qualify for assistance
in the form of reduced or eliminated premiums and/or cost-sharing. You can apply
online at www.socialsecurity.gov/prescriptionhelp
or get more information about this assistance by calling Medicare at 1-800-633-4227
(TTY/TDD: 1-877-486-2048) or the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213
Am I protected against increased drug costs?
Enrollment in Part D could buy you the protection you need if you drug costs become very high. Remember, using generics can help reduce prescription drug costs.
Although your policy co-pay will not increase, manufacturer pricing on prescription drugs could increase.
Will I pay more if I enroll late?
You may pay a late enrollment penalty if you don't join a Medicare prescription
drug plan when you are first eligible during your Initial Enrollment Period
(IEP), or there is a period of 63 or more continuous days during which you don't
have creditable prescription drug coverage as good as Medicare's prescription drug
If a late enrollment penalty applies, it is calculated by Medicare when you first
join a Medicare drug plan. To estimate your penalty, take one percent of the national
average premium for the year you join (The 2018 national average premium is $35.02).
Multiply it by the number of full months you were eligible to join a Medicare prescription
drug plan but didn't. This is your estimated penalty amount, which is added each
month to your Medicare prescription drug plan's premium, for as long as you have
the plan. If you qualify for extra help, the penalty is different. For help figuring
out how much your penalty will be, call 1-800-MEDICARE/1-800-633-4227 (TTY/TDD:
1-877-486-2048), or call your State Health Insurance Assistance Program.
Are the drugs I need covered by Medicare Part D?
Covered drugs can vary from plan to plan, so be sure to review each plan's formulary
information. You may want to consider switching your prescription to an equivalent
drug if a drug you are using is not available through a particular plan.
If you need to see if your drugs are covered by TEAMStar Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans (PDP), click here.
Do I get a discount on prescription drugs?
Because TEAMStar has developed a network of pharmacies, you have access to discounted prices if you join TEAMStar Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans (PDP) and use the plan's pharmacy network. In addition, TEAMStar Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans (PDP) has a Union Preferred network, which can save you even more money. Medicare Part D plans use various networks, so be sure to check to see if your preferred pharmacy is in the network.
If you want to see if your pharmacy is in our network, click here.
How can I be sure your plan offers pharmacies that are convenient?
You can learn which pharmacies are 'in-network' for each plan — offering the
best prices for medications and the lowest cost sharing rates. If the 'in-network'
pharmacies available in a plan are not local, you may find that using a mail order
pharmacy to obtain medications is the most cost-effective option. Of course, you
may choose to eliminate local pharmacy fulfillment altogether and use the mail order
pharmacy option from the beginning as the most convenient and cost-effective method.
Click here to see if your
local pharmacy is in our network.
What should I know if I have prescription drug coverage from
a former or current employer or union?
Medicare will help employers or unions continue to provide retiree drug coverage
that meets Medicare's standards. You or your spouse's former or current employer
or union will send you information about how your current coverage compares to the
Medicare standard prescription drug coverage. This information is important because
it can affect the decision you need to make this fall regarding if and when you
sign up for Medicare prescription drug coverage.
If you or your spouse's employer or union determines your current coverage, on average,
is at least as good as the Medicare standard prescription drug coverage (called
creditable prescription drug coverage):
- You can keep it as long as it is still offered by your employer or union.
- You won't have to pay a penalty if your employer or union stops offering prescription
drug coverage as long as you join a Medicare drug plan within 63 days after the
If you drop your employer or union coverage,
you may not be able to get it back. You also may not be able to drop your employer
or union drug coverage without also dropping your employer or union health coverage.
If your employer or union plan is not as good as Medicare prescription drug coverage,
find out about your options from your Benefits Administrator. You may be able to:
- Keep your current employer or union drug plan and join a Medicare drug plan to give
you more complete prescription drug coverage.
- Drop your current coverage and return to the original Medicare plan.
- Join a Medicare prescription drug plan.
- Join a Medicare Advantage plan or other Medicare health plan that covers prescription
drugs. See the caution above.
What should I know if I have drug coverage from TRICARE,
the Department of Veteran's Affairs (VA), or the Federal Employee Health Benefits
Contact your Benefits Administrator or FEHB insurer for information about
your TRICARE, VA, or FEHB coverage before making any changes. It is almost always
to your advantage to keep your current coverage without any changes. If you lose
your TRICARE, VA, or FEHB coverage, in most cases you won't have to pay a penalty,
as long as you join a Medicare drug plan within 63 days of losing TRICARE, VA, or
How do I end my membership in your plan?
Usually, to end your membership in our Plan, you simply enroll in another Medicare
Part D plan during an enrollment period. If you do not want to keep our Plan, you
can choose to enroll in another Medicare prescription drug plan or drop your
Medicare prescription drug coverage.
To learn more about disenrolling from TEAMStar Part D, click here.
If you would like to switch from our plan to:
- Another Medicare prescription drug plan
Enroll in the new Medicare prescription drug plan. You will automatically be disenrolled
from our Plan when your new plan's coverage begins.
- A Medicare Advantage Plan
Enroll in the Medicare Advantage plan. With most Medicare Advantage plans, you will
automatically be disenrolled from our Plan when your new plan's coverage begins.
However, if you choose a Private Fee-For-Service plan without Part D drug coverage,
a Medicare Medical Savings Account plan, or a Medicare Cost plan, you can enroll
in that new plan and keep our Plan for your drug coverage. If you want to leave
our Plan, you can either enroll in another Medicare prescription drug plan or contact
our TEAMStar Medicare Part D Customer Service, or Medicare, and ask to be disenrolled.
Call us toll-free: 1-866-524-4173. Hearing-impaired callers using TTY/TDD equipment
call toll-free: 711. Or, contact Medicare and ask to be disenrolled:
1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users: 1-877-486-2048.
- Original Medicare without a separate Medicare prescription drug plan
Contact our TEAMStar Medicare Part D Customer Service and ask to be disenrolled
from our Plan. Call us toll-free: 1-866-524-4173. Hearing-impaired callers using
TTY/TDD equipment call toll-free: 711. Or, contact Medicare and ask to
be disenrolled: 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users: 1-877-486-2048.