Medicare Mistake #5:
Failing to Enroll in Part D Prescription Drug Plan
Enroll in a Part D plan before prescription drug needs are imminent!
Prescription drug coverage is available to anyone with Medicare. If you receive benefits under Medicare Part A and/or B, you are eligible for Part D prescription drug coverage. Part D covers prescription drug costs and insurance premiums for Medicare beneficiaries. If you are not taking prescription medication, you should still enroll in a Part D to ensure that if you need to start taking prescription medication it is covered by your insurance. If you do not, you will end up having to pay out of pocket for your medication.
Some prescription drug costs are thousands of dollars per month. Each prescription drug plan covers it’s own list of drugs. Drugs are placed in different tiers based on cost. Drugs on the higher tiers cost more than drugs on the lower tiers. If your physician recommends a drug on a higher tier but it is too expensive, you can ask your plan for an exception to get a lower co-payment. You can sign up for part D later, but you will face late penalties.
Compare your current drug coverage, if you have any, to a Part D plan. If you have coverage from an insurance company, employer, or state program it is critical that you receive in writing each year that it is creditable coverage. If you are eligible for Part D but are getting insurance from an employer, make sure to verify with your employer how your plan works with Part D, or if your insurance has the capability of working with Part D. Medicare drug plans can change throughout the year. If the changes effect a drug you are taking, you can ask your plan for an exception. If approved, this could lower your co-payment.
Waiting to enroll could cost additional late penalties permanently added to your Part D premiums.