Norvasc is the brand name for a drug named amlodipine. It is a calcium channel blocker used to treat high blood pressure and angina or chest pain. For high blood pressure, it works by slackening blood vessels to facilitate blood flow. This is critical because high blood pressure can lead to strokes, heart attacks, kidney failure and vision loss. Taking the medication for chest pain may reduce the instances of angina attacks by raising blood supply to the heart.
As with all drugs, there are known side effects. Report to your doctor any experience of dizziness, nausea, extreme fatigue, headache, stomach pain, flushing, or swelling around the ankles, feet, lower legs or hands. More serious effects may include fainting, severe chest pain and an abnormal heartbeat, but many people using this medication do not experience these complications.
Prescription drug coverage
Newcomers to Medicare may assume that Original Medicare benefits Parts A and B cover their medications, but that is not the case. In fact, Part D is the Medicare program for prescription drugs. Although Part D coverage is not required, it can be important to enroll when you sign up for Part A and/or Part B. You can avoid paying late enrollment penalties, and if your health changes, you will be protected from overwhelming out-of-pocket costs.
Part D plans each have a formulary, or list of covered drugs, and although all plans must abide by federal regulations, they don’t all cover the same medications. If you require Norvasc, make sure your plan includes it in their formulary. Costs can vary from plan to plan, as well. Each plan will have a tiered list of prescription drugs included in your benefits. If you do not see Norvasc listed, check the generic form, amlodipine, or other brand names, Amvaz and Katerzia.
Special Enrollment Periods for Part D
If you don’t sign up for Part D coverage when you are first qualify for Medicare, it will likely cost more to sign up for coverage later due to a late enrollment penalty. This penalty is attached to every monthly premium once your coverage begins, unless you have evidence of creditable prescription drug coverage can be shown or qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
If you experience a life event, such as moving out of a plan’s service area, qualifying for Extra Help, losing employer or union-sponsored group healthcare, or becoming eligible for Medicaid, you may be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period. CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) defines creditable prescription drug coverage as insurance you may have, perhaps through an employer or employee union, that is “expected to pay, on average, at least as much as Medicare’s standard prescription drug coverage.” Insurance companies are required to advise the insured annually if the coverage is creditable. Be sure to retain these records in case proof is requested upon enrollment of Part D.
Changing your Medicare prescription drug plan
If you are already enrolled in a plan for prescription drugs and want to make a change, you may do so during a Special Enrollment Period or you can make changes during the Annual Election Period (AEP), from October 15 to December 7. If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you can make one change during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period from January 1 to March 31.