Medicare Part D

As the senior vice president of oncology pharmacy services for OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, Ellen Scharaga supervises its pharmacy dispensing operations. In this role, Ellen Scharaga, who lives in Melville, NY, handles the implementation of numerous pharmaceutical programs, including those related to Medicare Part D.

Medicare Part D manages the prescription drug coverage policy within Medicare. An optional program, it requires users to pay a monthly premium to acquire therapeutics. Individuals who want to purchase drugs through Medicare should apply for this coverage shortly after signing up for the service, or they could incur a penalty. The government offers “Extra Help” for people with limited incomes. This service comes in “full” and “limited” categories, depending on income and assets, and it often significantly reduces the co-pay amount for each medication.

After applying for Medicare Part D, users must then decide between several Medicare-approved private drug plans. Every year, the person can choose a different plan or continue with his or her current choice. The Medicare website, http://www.medicare.gov, makes this process easier by including an easy-to-use comparison tool that allows browsers to review the benefits of each option.

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