Medicare is divided into various parts: Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D, and Medicare Supplements. Original Medicare, which is Medicare Parts A and B, does not offer coverage for prescription drugs. To get coverage, you will most likely need to enroll in a Medicare Part D plan.
What is Medicare Part D?
Medicare Part D is a standalone drug plan that is sold by approved private insurers. There are various types of Part D plans with varying costs and coverage options. You must be enrolled in Part A and/or Part B before you can enroll in Part D.
We always recommend enrolling in Part D as soon as you become eligible to enroll so you can avoid paying a late enrollment penalty if you delay your enrollment. In fact, we suggest not even delaying your enrollment at all unless you already have creditable coverage in place, which would then qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period to enroll in Medicare coverage once your current coverage ends.
Otherwise, definitely consider enrolling as soon as you’re enrolled in either Part A or both Part A and B. You can do this during your Initial Enrollment Period.
Is Part D Worth It?
For people who take prescription drugs regularly, enrolling in Part D is a good option for minimizing your out-of-pocket costs. Part D plans can even save you from unexpected costs if something suddenly happens and you need to start taking a prescription. With that being said, even if you don’t currently take any prescriptions, you should highly consider enrolling in a Part D plan anyway, just to be safe and knowing you’ll be covered if something were to happen.
With Part D, you can get coverage for prescription drugs that fall in these specific categories: immunosuppressants, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, anticancer, antipsychotics, and HIV/AIDS drugs. Not only will Part D provide coverage for these, but each plan is also required to cover at least two drugs that fall in each category outside of these specific ones. Do keep in mind that the two drugs each Part D plan covers will vary by plan. That’s why it’s very important to compare all the options in your area to make sure you find a plan that works for you.
And, if you are eligible for a Medicare Advantage plan, you can even find a plan in your area that already includes prescription drug coverage as an added benefit so you won’t have to add on a separate Part D plan.
For more information about Medicare Part D and why it could be right for you, reach out to Medicare Sharks today!