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Medicare Prescription Drug Plans: The best time to enroll, benefits and when your coverage starts.

Learn more about Medicare Prescription Drug plans with the help of SelectQuote

When enrolling in Medicare coverage, you’ll have many choices to make, from when you can enroll to picking the benefits that make the most sense for you. One decision you’ll have to make is whether or not to enroll in prescription drug coverage. Medicare prescription drug plans help cover the cost of generic and name brand publications, so they can be an important addition to your Medicare coverage and overall health management. In this article, we’ll walk you through the details of Medicare prescription drug coverage, including when you’re eligible to enroll, what to expect when you do and how to make changes to your existing plan.

The Best Time to Enroll in a Prescription Drug Plan

As an elective form of coverage, Medicare beneficiaries aren’t required to enroll in a prescription drug plan, but there could be Because Medicare prescription drug plans are an elective form of coverage, Medicare recipients aren’t required to enroll in one. However, there could be significant penalties if you choose to enroll in a plan later than your Initial Enrollment Period. This makes your Initial Enrollment Period—which starts three months before your 65th birthday and ends three months after—the best time to enroll in a prescription drug plan.

If you go without prescription drug coverage for more than 63 days after your Initial Enrollment Period, a late enrollment penalty could be added to your Part D premium. Not only will the penalty be added to your premium, but you may have to pay this penalty for as long as you have a Medicare prescription drug plan. To avoid potential penalties and ensure coverage when you need it, you should consider enrolling in a Medicare prescription drug plan when you are first eligible for Medicare. 

More Affordable Prescription Medications

MOne of the most significant benefits of Medicare prescription drug plans is that they give Medicare recipients access to retail prescription drugs often at more affordable copays. Because Medicare Part A and Part B don’t cover all prescription drug costs, enrolling in a prescription drug plan can help you continue to access the medication you need. Remember that the cost of the drug will vary depending on the type of medication, the type of pharmacy you use, what tier the medication is in, whether or not you’ve met your deductible and whether the medication is on your plan’s list of covered prescriptions.

Making Changes to Your Medicare Prescription Drug Plan

There are two opportunities each year to make changes to your prescription drug plan for the following year. Plan details, including what medications are covered, can change annually, so it’s important to review each year. Comparing your options during the Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan Annual Enrollment Period, which runs from October 15 to December 7 each year, is one of the easiest ways to ensure you have the best plan for your situation. The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, which runs from January 1 to March 31 each year, is another opportunity to make a change to your prescription drug coverage.

Need help navigating the Medicare Advantage enrollment process? SelectQuote can help.

WhethWhether you’re enrolling in Medicare for the first time or you’re looking to update or add to your existing coverage, we’re here to help. SelectQuote’s experienced licensed insurance agents can help you understand your options for coverage and find you the available Medicare Advantage and Supplement plans that work for your needs and budget. We easily and quickly search and compare rates and benefits, helping you make decisions throughout the enrollment process with less hassle.

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