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Medicare Part D is the prescription drug portion of Medicare. Part D can be obtained through a stand-alone prescription drug plan, or through a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C).
You are able to sign up for a Prescription Drug Plan at certain times of the year, and at special events within your lifetime.
You may sign up for a Part D plan at different times during the year or upon different life events. Here are some of those situations:
- You are newly eligible for Medicare because you turned 65
- You are newly eligible for Medicare because of a Disability (under 65)
- You are already eligible for Medicare because of a disability, and you then turn 65
- With or without part A, if you enrolled in Medicare Part B during the General Enrollment Period (January 1 – March 31)
- October 15th through December 7th – Annual Enrollment Period (AEP)
- January 1st through February 14th – Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (MADP)
- Certain Special Enrollment Periods (SEP)
Medicare’s website provides an online tool to compare every drug plan available for Medicare beneficiaries. This tool allows you to find only plans which will cover your current prescriptions and pharmacies.
It is important to note that there is a late enrollment penalty for not signing up when you are first eligible to enroll in a Part D plan. For every month that you go without a Part D plan or another creditable coverage drug plan that has a comparable amount of prescription coverage, you will pay a 1% penalty. That 1% per month penalty is multiplied by the “national base beneficiary premium” which is $32.42 in 2014. The final amount is rounded to the nearest $.10 and added to your monthly premium when you do finally enroll.
If you take no prescriptions, it is often recommended to enroll in the most affordable drug plan available… as this allows you to avoid the late enrollment penalty later in life.
If you would like assistance enrolling in and comparing Prescription Drug Plans, or Part D, CONTACT US to speak to a licensed insurance agent specializing in Medicare compatible plans.