Part D is prescription drug insurance run by Medicare-approved private insurance companies. Part D helps pay for medications doctors prescribe for treatment.
When you become newly entitled to Medicare you can enroll during your initial enrollment period. After your initial enrollment period there is an annual election period (October 15 – December 7 each year) to enroll or change insurance providers. There are also special enrollment periods for some unusual situations.
***If you decide not to join a Medicare drug plan when you’re first eligible, and you don’t have other credible prescription drug coverage, you will likely pay a late enrollment penalty when you join later. You will have to pay this penalty for as long as you have Medicare prescription drug coverage. ***
There are many different Part D plans that vary wildly in cost and coverage. It is important to consider the following when look for a plan that is right for you.
- Does the plan cover any prescriptions you currently have
- Does the plan have any rules like quantity limits, prior authorization, and step therapy
- Is there a gap in coverage and does that matter to you
- What is the annual deductible (what you pay before the insurance pays)
- What is the copay (how much you will pay for each prescription)
- How much does it cost you monthly for the insurance
Use this Medicare.gov website search to find a plan that covers your prescriptions.
Use this Medicare.gov website search to enroll in a Part D prescription plan (must be in an initial, annual, or special enrollment period).