The annual coordinated election period ("open enrollment") for Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plans runs from October 15 through December 7, 2016. CMS has released the 2017 landscape of Part D and Medicare Advantage plans. Here are the lists of plans for New York State:
Special Needs Plans (SNPs) ( will be posted soon)
Dual Plans (full capitation -cover Medicare & Medicaid services - FIDA and Medicaid Advantage Plans
LIST OF EIGHT BENCHMARK PLANS - FREE PREMIUM FOR PEOPLE WITH FULL "EXTRA HELP" (Low Income Subsidy) . All of the benchmark plans from 2016 will be benchmark in 2017, except that one plan is sanctioned - Cigna Medicare Rx:
The 2017 benchmark amount in New York State is $40.99 (highest in the USA).
EIGHT of the standalone PDPs in NYS are free to people with FULL Extra Help in NYS in 2017 (no monthly premium). BUT ONE of the 8 PLANs - CIGNA MEDICARE RX - IS SANCTIONED so no enrollment permitted. Benchmark plans are "Basic" Part D plans with premiums below the benchmark amount, to which people with the Low Income Subsidy are randomly assigned if they do not pick a plan. "Enhanced" Part D plans cannot be "benchmark" plans even if their premium is below the benchmark amount.
All of the 8 plans have premiums below the benchmark amount.
People with Extra Help will be assigned to one of these SEVEN Plans if they don't pick their own plan (it will be EIGHT Plans when sanction is lifted from CIGNA MEDICARE RX. They can pick a plan that is not one of the 8 benchmark plans, but they'll be charged the difference between the benchmark premium of $40.99 and the plan's full premium listed on the chart.
All plans that were benchmark in 2016 will still be benchmark in 2017:
The lists posted here are extracted from nationwide charts on the CMS website at http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Prescription-Drug-Coverage/PrescriptionDrugCovGenIn/. Sanctioned plans are also available at that link.
Reminder: EPIC does not provide coverage during the Part D deductible phase. EPIC members without Extra Help will want to try to find Part D plans with no deductible, if possible. In 2017, EPIC can pay up to $40.99/month for members getting EPIC Part D premium assistance, and will credit EPIC deductible members $40.99/ month ($492/year) toward their annual EPIC deductible.