To enroll in a prescription drug plan, you must qualify for Medicare Part A and be enrolled in part B. There are two ways you can elect prescription drug coverage, either on a stand-alone basis or through your medical plan. In most cases, a Medicare Advantage medical plan includes Part D prescription coverage. However, if you choose a Medigap plan then you will need to select a stand-alone drug plan since Medigap plans do not include prescription drug coverage.
Some individuals who don’t take any prescription medications may think they do not need to enroll in Part D when they become eligible for Medicare. However, if you delay signing up when you are first eligible, without any other creditable prescription drug coverage, you may incur a late enrollment penalty when you enroll later. You would then pay the penalty for as long you have prescription drug coverage.
Each plan that offers Part D prescription drug coverage has their own list of drugs that are covered and a tiered formulary that determines the cost of the copays and coinsurance for each drug. There is a network of pharmacies for each plan and some have preferred pharmacies that may offer even lower copayments.
If you have limited income and resources, you may qualify for help to pay for some health care and prescription drug costs. If you qualify, you’ll get help paying your drug plan’s monthly premium, yearly deductible, and copayments. Visit the Medicare.gov website to learn more about Medicare Extra Help or to find out if you qualify and apply, visit the Social Security Administration website at or call them at (800) 772-1213.
In today’s world, we are all a little more conscious of costs. Cost is an important factor in any purchase, health care and prescription drug costs are no different. We know you want to get the best value possible. Shopping around can make a huge difference.