There are plenty of choices to make when it comes to getting Medicare coverage, and choosing a prescription drug plan can be one of the most important. Here’s a guide to a Medicare Prescription Drug plan, including when to enroll and what to expect.
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 significant penalties if you choose to pick up a plan later than your Initial Enrollment Period. This makes your Initial Enrollment Period—which starts three months before your 65th birthday and the three months following—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
Medicare Part A and Part B don’t cover all prescription drug costs. One of the biggest benefits of a prescription drug plan is that it provides Medicare beneficiaries access to retail prescription drugs at more affordable copays.
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. Medications covered and plans 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 enrollment process? Turn to SelectQuote.
Whether you’re new to Medicare or need help reviewing your coverage, we can help you understand your options and ensure you’re receiving the benefits you deserve at a price that works for you. The service is free and there is no obligation to enroll.