Medicare Part D

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Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Coverage (PDP)

Also called a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, Medicare Part D may be included as part of your health plan or as a separate product. If you do not choose to purchase Part D coverage, you will be liable for your prescription drug costs, depending on the type of medication you need.  There is a penalty for not having a Medicare Part D Drug plan if you want to purchase it after you are first eligible for it or if you drop the coverage some where along the way.

Just like other Medicare plans, you can sign up for Medicare Part D as early as 3 months prior to your 65th birthday. You can also sign up for Medicare Part D during the Annual Election Period, which occurs from October 15 to December 7 of each year. If you don’t sign up for Medicare Part D coverage when you’re first eligible, however, you might have to pay a late-enrollment penalty.

You can add Part D coverage to:

  • Original Medicare
  • Medicare Supplement Plans
  • A Medicare Advantage Plan that does not have prescription drug coverage

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Different Part D drug plans cover different drugs
  • Each Medicare drug plan has its own list of covered drugs (called a formulary). Many Medicare drug plans place drugs into different “tiers” on their formularies. Drugs in each tier have a different cost
  • The total overall cost for the year is important – a plan may have a deductible, but the overall cost of the plan for the year may still be less expensive than some other plans, depending on what prescriptions you take and what is offered

How to shop for Medicare Part D coverage

The companies that sell Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage change their benefits and their list of covered drugs (formulary) every year.  The best way to shop for coverage is on the Medicare website at https://www.medicare.gov.

Click on Find Health & Drug plans and follow the prompts to enter the medications you take. You can create a profile and save it so that you can go back year after year, update your drug list, and find out what the most cost effective Part D drug plan will be for you for the upcoming year.

If you would like to have assistance, contact us at Benefits by Design at 415-524-8959. We can help you shop for a Medicare D drug plan and apply for benefits. Please fill out a scope of appointment form, which is required by Medicare before an insurance broker can review plan rates and benefits with you.

 

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