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Understanding Part D Coverage

Many of our Medicare clients frequently ask questions about the need for Part D coverage. Part D is the coverage that can help pay for your prescription drugs. Some people may question why they should enroll in this coverage if they don’t take prescriptions. It is important to understand that avoiding or delaying Part D coverage can be very costly.  If you enroll later, you will be subject to a penalty.  More importantly, you could pay full price for your prescriptions without having qualifying coverage.

When you join Medicare, you are not automatically enrolled in Part D.  You can join when you first become eligible for Parts A or B.  However, this is something you must do on your own, hopefully with the help of a licensed insurance professional.  The cost of your Part D coverage includes several components; an extra monthly premium to Medicare (if your income exceeds a certain level), a monthly premium to the Part D plan you are enrolled in, and deductibles and co-pays as applicable with your prescriptions and plan.

Pharmacist smiling at camera at the hospital pharmacy

Choosing the right Part D plan.

This is very important and depends on the prescriptions you take and pharmacies you use.  In many cases, there are 20 or more Part D options in your county.  It is critical that you select a plan that best fits your needs and budget.  Our licensed agents are trained to use the Medicare.gov website when working with clients. This website can rank the Part D plans available in your zip code based on your prescriptions.  It is important to bring a list of prescriptions with you when you meet with a licensed agent.  This will allow an independent assessment to be done on your behalf.

There are 2 ways you can be enrolled in Part D.  One is through the enrollment of a stand-alone plan which covers prescription drugs.  This is usually done in combination with a Medicare Supplement Plan.  You can also be enrolled in Part D by enrolling in a Medicare Advantage Plan that includes prescription drug coverage.

Part D is a very important part of your Medicare coverage.  It is always best to get advice from an insurance professional who is competent in this area.  Choosing the right plan can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars a year.  If your prescriptions change, you should review your Part D coverage annually during the Annual Enrollment Period (October 15-December 7).