Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans
If you’re turning 65, it’s time to start thinking about your Medicare coverage. One essential aspect of Medicare is the prescription drug plan, or Part D. I will explain what you need to know about enrolling in Part D and choosing the right plan for your needs.
When to Enroll in Part D
You can sign up for Medicare Part D starting three months before your 65th birthday. It’s important to enroll during this time because if you don’t, you may face a permanent premium surcharge for enrolling more than three months after your 65th birthday if you don’t have insurance for drug coverage from another source. So, do not wait to enroll in Part D!
If you are already enrolled in a Part D “standalone” plan or a Medicare Advantage plan that incorporates drug coverage, you can switch plans during the open-enrollment period, which runs from October 15 to December 7 every year. During this time, you can switch to a different plan that better meets your needs.
Choosing the Right Plan
Choosing the right plan can be a bit overwhelming, but it’s important to take the time to find the plan that works best for you. Here are some things to consider when choosing a Part D plan:
- Check if the drugs you need are covered: Make sure the plan you are considering covers the medications you currently take or might need in the future.
- Look at the cost of the plan: Compare the monthly premiums, deductibles, and copays of the different plans you’re considering.
- Check the plan’s formulary: The formulary is the list of drugs covered by the plan. Make sure the plan covers the drugs you need at a cost that’s reasonable for you.
- Consider the pharmacy network: Check if the plan has a network of pharmacies near you where you can fill your prescriptions.
- Look at the plan’s ratings: Medicare rates the quality of Part D plans on a five-star scale. Consider choosing a plan with a high rating.
Part D Coverage Gap
One thing to keep in mind when choosing a Part D plan is the coverage gap, also known as the “donut hole.” This occurs when you reach a certain level of drug spending and have to pay a higher percentage of the cost of your medications. The good news is that the coverage gap is gradually closing.
Get Help Choosing a Plan
Choosing a Part D plan can be confusing, but you don’t have to do it alone. There are resources available to help you choose the right plan for your needs. You can speak to a licensed insurance agent who can help guide you through the process.
In summary, if you are turning 65 or are needing prescription drug coverage, Medicare Part D is an excellent option. Make sure to enroll on time, and take the time to choose the plan that works best for your needs. With the right plan in place, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that your prescription drug costs are covered.