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What is Medicare Part D and is it Optional?

Medicare Part D is a coverage that is designed to help people pay for outpatient prescription medication. Private healthcare companies that Medicare has reviewed and approved, sell this coverage. You are eligible for Part D if you have Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. All one would have to do is call one of our Medicare Part D experts, and we will help you understand the options available for coverage in your area.

Do I Really Need Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage?

Medicare Part D is not required coverage. However, there are stipulations to keeping it that way. If you are eligible for Part A and Part B, you are eligible to enroll in Part D. If you have never participated in a Medicare Advantage prescription drug plan or never participated in any Medicare Part D drug plan, then Medicare will not penalize you for not having the coverage when you were first eligible.

However, if you have Part A and Part B, and you enrolled previously in a Medicare Advantage prescription drug plan or any Medicare Part D drug plan, you are required to keep it. You will be expected to enroll every year in order to avoid having to pay a penalty.

What if I Already Have Coverage Through My Union or Private Employer?

The Medicare term that comes into play here is Creditable Prescription Drug Coverage. This term means that you have coverage that is at least as good or better than the Medicare standard. If you have Creditable Prescription Drug Coverage, Medicare will not penalize you. You can enroll in a Medicare Part D plan of your choice at a later date. However, it is highly recommended that you speak with an expert before making any major changes to your coverage.

What is the Best Time to Join a Part D Plan?

The best time to join a Part D plan is during the Initial Enrollment Period. This time frame lasts the seven months surrounding your 65th birthday. Three months before, the month of, and three months after.

The next best time to join a Part D plan is during the Open Enrollment Period. This enrollment lasts from November 15 to December 31 each year. Keep in mind, if you do not have a Creditable Prescription Drug Plan in place, and you already have Part A and Part B, there might be a late enrollment penalty unless you have never participated before. The penalty is usually added to your overall part D premium when you enroll.

Once you choose a time frame to enroll, you will be able to change plans between November 15 and December 31 of each year. When deciding to change plans, you are not required to notify anyone that you are switching. Once the old coverage expires, the new one will start.

Will I be Able to Choose My Own Pharmacist?

In most cases, you will not be able to choose your own pharmacy. Typically, these prescription drug plans have a network of their own pharmacies that they will require you to use. However, it is still important that you find a pharmacy in those networks that is convenient for you to drive to when you have medication pickups.

To learn more about enrolling in Medicare, contact the professionals at (844) 374-1950. Our licensed insurance experts will be happy to answer any questions you have.