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My 91 father-in-law's health is declining and his medicine just shot up $1000 a month. Can he still sign up for Medicare part D? If not, are there other insurances that cover medicine that we can look into?

Your best bet would be to contact a Hiicap or Ship counselor though the local Office for Aging. I volunteer at our local OFA as a Medicare health insurance counselor and this is an issue we run into. The penalty people refer to would be 1% of the average cost of a Part D for each moth they were eligible to sign up for part D since May of 2006 when the program first became available. That is currently about .34 cents per month. Now there are ways around that. If a person's income is low enough and they qualify for the Medicare Savings Program they would get their Medicare premium paid and any penalty waved. You would need to check with Hiicap/ SHIP counselor since the income level varies by state. The other option may be a Medicaid spend down in which medical expenses are used to bring a person's income low enough to qualify for Medicaid. If they qualify for just one month then the penalty is forgiven and they would get Part D premium paid and low cost medication for the next 6 months to a year depending on your state. To get the number for your local SHIP office call Medicare's 800 number and they can give it to you for your area. These are complicated processes to go though but well worth the effort. Don't let that penalty thing scare you. Even if he does end up having to pay it, it only comes out to about $55/month plus any premium for the part D insurance. They are from around $13 to $100 depending on the plan selected. The savings realized from having medications covered is well worth it. I recently signed up a lady that needed diabetic medications that were costing her several hundred per month. Even with the penalty ( she was 85)her cost was greatly reduced. Even though she wasn't eligible for any of the programs I mentioned to eliminate the penalty we were able to sign her up for our state's Elderly Pharmaceutical Assistance program at no additional cost to her and got her part D premium paid and part of the penalty. There are things available. You just need to find the right person to help you find them. Good Luck!!!
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Reply to Nancynurse
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utahpilot2 Sep 30, 2018
Thank you so much for this information. I will look into this for sure.
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I would be extremely cautious with giving someone an herbal blood thinner, if one even exists, without notifying a doctor and being under their constant supervision. If too much is given, the person could suffer an internal hemorrhage. Any herbal remedy or even supplements should be approved by the persons physician as they can have dangerous interactions with each other and prescribed meds.

Having said that, I totally support clean eating. Organic food is more expensive which is an issue for those of us on a limited income, but we manage.
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Try looking into alternative medicines, meaning the plant and herb variety. Get your loved one off the big pharma hamster wheel. For each drug your LO is taking there are side effects that warrant another drug to offset them it never ends. Get to the root of the problem and get rid of the drugs. Want to keep them healthy, take a serious look into nutrition. Good wholesome organic foods heal, drugs simply are nothing more than a slow miserable death. Keep going the way your going and they will die painfully and broke.
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utahpilot2 Sep 11, 2018
Is there such a thing as herbal blood thinners that desolve existing blood clots?
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I found out when I went to pick up pain patches for dad a few years back that part of the confusion was....they NEVER signed up for the drug plan.  Mom will be 96 this week, dad is 101.  Both thankfully without any issues related to expensive drugs...I heard there MIGHT be some sort an exception that can be granted but never investigated the details.  For now, for each month since signing on that they have been without the penalties would be astronomical.  So, if they did need something, I would be looking to the manufacturers to see if they had a patient assistance program.
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Reply to robinr
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First, is he a Veteran? If so, look to getting him into the VA System.

The problem with your FIL getting Medicare part D now is, the penalties will be high - but still lower than the price of the new medicine. However, speak to his physician and explain that your FIL cannot afford $1000 month medications and find out what else he could be taking instead.

It's easy to prescribe medications - most physicians have no idea what they cost. AND, before you get the Medicare part D - this is probably not a medication that would be covered! Ask the pharmacy if part D would even help.
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Reply to RayLinStephens
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utahpilot2 Sep 11, 2018
Excellent suggestion to ask the pharmarcy to see if part D woud help. Thanks.
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I found Humana Rx coverage worked best for us.  Mom was on 11 different meds when we signed up.  We had mail order meds through their Humana Rightsource division - most of them were 0 co-pay after the annual deductible was met.  It's been a lifesaver - we started in 2011.  She's only taking 8 meds daily now.  She does not have Medicare Prescription coverage.
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I suggest calling the doctor and asking if there is a less expensive medication your dad can use. Many times new drugs are very similar to older, less expensive ones.
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jacobsonbob Sep 11, 2018
...and often there are generics that were put on the market after the original, expensive drug had been on the market at least 7 years.
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Call The Rx Advocates
844-559-8332
This is a patient assistance program that works with patients meeting income guidelines and lack of insurance including part D. Pharma companies partner to provide needed drugs at affordable prices; this group is the link between doctor, patient, pharma and need.
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Reply to Happyheart70
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So my mom @ 83 never signed up for Part D. We met with an insurance man who figured out her cost including all the penalties and at the time it was going to be a wash between what she was paying and what her medications we costing her per month. She was not anywhere near the price point your dad is at. The other thing is that there are multiple Part D plans and a plan is chosen based on the medications your dad is taking and which plan offers coverage for that type of medicine. I personally think it is worth checking into it and talking to different companies. Call around and ask “Part D” Insurance providers all the particulars. They should ask for a list of medications your dad is on and suggest an appropriate plan. This is what my understanding was a year or so back. Hope this helps
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utahpilot2 Sep 11, 2018
Thank you. He was healthy as a horse until recently. I will look into part D options, but it could be too late.
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Since open enrolment is coming up soon the following website will help you in determining which plan is the best overall for medication co pays and click on the link

https://www.medicare.gov/part-d/coverage/part-d-coverage.html

You can ask the doctor if there are any alternative medications that are less costly.
If he was never ever on part D in the past you are out of luck since there are penalties for each month that he did not have a plan. At about 5 years or so that window has closed forever. This is because group insurance is built upon the premise that a number of enrollees will not need medications until later but insurance will be ready for them. It is sort of like holding money in the bank until necessary. He cannot enter the pool and steal from the pot at the last minute. Consider that it is now time to use his own bank account.
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utahpilot2 Sep 11, 2018
Thank you. That is only fair.
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There is an excellent video series on YouTube from a company called “Remdigap”. The lady, Joann, explains all the ins and outs of Medicare. I seem to remember her video on Part D said if you opt out of Part D you have to pay a penalty if you want to sign up later.

A lot of drug companies with phenomenally expensive drugs offer assistance. I know Bristol-Myers Squibb does. We were lucky enough to qualify for assistance with Eliquis. You can call these manufacturers and ask for an application for their patient assistance program.
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Ahmijoy Sep 9, 2018
Sorry. It’s Remedigap.
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