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Important Notice from the Mississippi State and School Employees Health Insurance Plan About Your Prescription Drug Coverage and Medicare

Please read this notice carefully, and keep it where you can find it. This notice has information about your current prescription drug coverage with the Mississippi State and School Employees’ Health Insurance Plan (Plan) and new prescription drug coverage available for people with Medicare. It also tells you where to find more information to help you make decisions about your prescription drug coverage.

This notice only applies if you are both eligible for Medicare and covered under this Plan other than as a retiree, a surviving spouse, or a dependent of a retiree or a surviving spouse.

  • 1.

    Starting January 1, 2006, new Medicare prescription drug coverage will be available to everyone with Medicare.

  • 2.

    You have decisions to make about Medicare prescription drug coverage that may affect how much you pay for that coverage, depending on if and when you join. Read this notice carefully - it explains your options.

  • 3.

    If you are both eligible for Medicare and you are covered by the Plan other than as a retiree, a surviving spouse, or a dependent of a retiree or a surviving spouse, the State and School Employees Health Insurance Management Board has determined that the prescription drug coverage offered by the Plan is, on average expected to pay out as much as the standard Medicare prescription drug coverage will pay.

You may have heard about Medicare’s new prescription drug coverage, and wondered how it would affect you. Starting January 1, 2006, prescription drug coverage will be available to everyone with Medicare through Medicare prescription drug plans. All Medicare prescription drug coverage will provide at least a standard level of coverage set by Medicare. Some plans might also offer more coverage for a higher monthly premium.

Because your existing coverage is on average at least as good as standard Medicare prescription drug coverage, you can keep this coverage as long as you are eligible and not pay extra if you later decide to join a Medicare prescription drug plan.

People with Medicare can join a Medicare prescription drug plan from November 15, 2005 through May 15, 2006. However, because you have existing prescription drug coverage that, on average, is as good as Medicare coverage, you can choose to join a Medicare prescription drug plan at a later date. In the future, you will have the opportunity each year to join a Medicare prescription drug plan between November 15th and December 31st.

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