What is Medicare Part D?
Medicare Part D is prescription drug coverage that is offered to everyone with Medicare.
What Does Medicare Part D Cover?
To get prescription drug coverage, you must join a plan run by an insurance company or other private company approved by Medicare. You don’t have to have both parts of Medicare (Part A and B) to be eligible for Part D. You can have Part A or Part B and still enroll in a Part D Prescription Drug plan, known as a PDP.
TRUSTED TIP: Part C plans and Part D plans are graded on a star rating system. A plan can be awarded up to five stars based on chronic ailment management, preventive services, complaints, customer service and more.
When Should I Apply For Medicare Part D?
When can I join, switch or drop Part D?
You may join a Part D prescription plan at the following times:
Initial Enrollment Period:
- The 3 months prior to the month you turn 65, the month of your 65th birthday, and the 3 months after.
- During the three months before, to three months after, your 25th month of disability.
- You can choose a stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan or a Medicare Advantage Drug Plans
Annual Enrollment Period – between October 15 and December 7 each year and have your coverage effective as of January 1.
TRUSTED TIP: If you decide not to join when you are first eligible you will likely pay a late enrollment penalty (higher premiums) if you join later. To avoid a Part D penalty, you must carry Creditable Coverage. Should a penalty be imposed, you will be responsible for paying that penalty for the entire time you have Medicare.
How Do I Apply to Medicare Part D?
There are two ways to get Medicare prescription drug coverage:
Medicare Prescription Drug Plans – these plans add drug coverage to Original Medicare, some Private Fee For Service Plans (PFFS) plans and Medical Savings Plans (MSA).
Medicare Advantage Plans – these are your Part C plans that offer all of your Part A and Part B, as well as your Part D drug coverage.
How Much Does Medicare Part D Cost?
Premiums and deductibles will vary by plan. Rates may vary by zip code, pharmacy, etcetera. “You will pay if you don’t shop”.
What if you don’t take prescription medication; should you join a Medicare drug plan?
Even if you don’t take a lot of prescriptions now, you should consider joining a Medicare drug plan. If you decide not to join when you are first eligible you will likely pay a late enrollment penalty (higher premiums) if you join later.