Important Facts to Consider About Medicare Part D
Medicare Part D is something just about every senior citizen living in Florida Florida has heard about, but to many people, it’s just another letter in the confusing Medicare alphabet soup.
Medicare Part D is the prescription drug coverage part of Medicare, but it’s important to understand that Medicare Part D plans are NOT included in Medicare Part A and B. Medicare Part D is an; add-on coverage from private insurance companies that you need to sign up for and pay for separately. Although these prescription drug plans are purchased from private insurance companies that offer plan options in [location] such as Silverscript, Florida Blue or Humana, it’s actually a federal program that subsidizes the cost of those prescription drugs as well as the prescription plan monthly premium. It was placed into law when the Medicare Modernization Act was passed in 2003. All Medicare recipients in [location] are eligible for prescription drug coverage, or Medicare Part D, but must be signed up for Medicare Part A and/or Part B.
Medicare Part D prescription drug plans differ in a number of ways.
The Part D monthly premium can vary from one plan to the next, monthly co-pays for medications can vary and which drugs are actually covered can also vary from one plan to the next. The best plan for you might not be the best plan for another person. It all comes down to your current health situation, what prescription drugs you are currently taking and your financial situation.
Do You Really Need Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Coverage?
People who use few or no prescription drugs at the current time may think signing up for Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage would be a waste of money. Why pay another premium when you are not using it? But Medicare drug coverage is not just a government benefit. It’s an insurance product and like homeowner’s insurance or car insurance, it’s not something you think about until you need it. Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage protects you against high drug costs if and when you need them in the future. If you aren’t currently taking any prescription drugs, enrolling in the Medicare Part D plan that has the lowest premium might be an option. That way you have some coverage in case you need it and you will not incur the penalty for late enrollment when you do eventually enroll.
When You Should Enroll in a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan
Joining a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan is relatively easy. You can go directly to the Medicare website and join from there. But with the vast number of plans available and the differences in coverage they offer, it can become very confusing to get the right Medicare Part D plan for your lifestyle and budget. Perhaps the easiest solution to get the best value and best prescription drug plan for your particular needs is to have a thorough conversation with an independent licensed agent in [location] who is appointed to help people enroll into these Medicare Part D plans. An independent broker can compare a few popular Medicare Part D drug plans and research all of your medications to make sure they are all covered.
Can I Just Sign Up for a Medicare Part D When I Need Coverage
You will ONLY be able to sign up for Medicare Part D during your initial enrollment period or during open enrollment (Oct. 15 to Dec. 7) and not at the time you feel you need prescription drug coverage. You will receive permanent financial penalties if you have gone for more than 63 days without other drug coverage that is considered as good as Medicare Part D. So once again, enrolling in the Medicare Part D prescription drug plan that has the lowest premium in [location] is a good idea if you currently take little or no prescription drugs.
What is the Medicare Part D Special Enrollment Period
You can make changes to your Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage when certain events happen in your life, like if you move or if you lose other insurance coverage. This is referred to as a special enrollment period, also called a SEP. Common reasons for a special enrollment period include losing employer-sponsored group coverage and moving to a new service area.
Do I Need Medicare Part D If I Have a Medicare Advantage Plan
In addition to providing all of your Medicare Part A and Part B coverage, Medicare Advantage plans generally offer additional benefits, such as vision, dental, and hearing and many include prescription drug coverage. But prescription drug coverage varies from one Medicare Advantage plan to the next, so once again it’s best to consult with an independent broker to compare plans and make sure you have the right benefits for your particular needs.