Original Medicare parts A and B do not cover prescription drugs. Therefore, a stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan is available! Medicare prescription drug plans are known as Part D. Even if you are not taking drugs today, it is important to to enroll in a minimum plan to avoid a penalty.
You cannot enroll in Medicare Part D without enrolling in Part A and being eligible for Part B. If you are not yet enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B, please contact the Social Security Administration as soon as 3 months before your 65th birthday.
To sign up for Medicare parts A and B, you can call or login online. To be eligible for a Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage, or Medicare Drug Plan, you have to be enrolled or eligible for Part B.
ENROLLING IN MEDICARE PRESCRIPTION DRUG PLANS
Many Medicare Beneficiaries who have a Medicare Supplement Plan also purchase a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) to help pay the costs of medications. They do this because Original Medicare and Medicare Supplement plans do not cover prescription drugs, only medical.
The federal Medicare website helps people enroll in Part D drug plans. Your drug plan information is saved on your account from year to year, making the renewal process even easier. By following these steps, the Part D drug plan enrollment should take you 10 minutes or less:
- Visit the website medicare.gov
- On the top right corner of the screen, click on MyMedicare.gov Login.
- If you do not have an existing account, click on Create Account and follow the prompts.
- If you have already created an account, enter your username and password and click on Login.
- Once you are on your account, click on Enter My Drugs & Pharmacies.
- Here it will ask for the prescription name, frequency, and dosage.
- Also, enter in the pharmacy you prefer to use. This information will help calculate which Part DDrug plan will cover all your needs.
- Finally, select Find and Compare Plans and then select Drug Plan (Part D).
- In the top right area of the page, you will see a box that says Sort plans by:. We recommend selecting Lowest Drug Plan + Premium Cost. You should select the first plan that appears after you have sorted the different options since this will be the plan that offers the lowest annual cost to cover you.
- Once you have selected the plan that works best for you, please click on Enroll and follow the steps on the application to start your Part D drug plan coverage.
Medicare Part D prescription plans include 3 drug payment stages
You pay a co-pay or co-insurance depending on the type of plan you purchased. Most people will stay in this phase the entire year if they are taking only a few drugs or the majority of their drugs are generic.
If you reach a certain amount in drug expenses, then you will reach a coverage gap. This is also known as the donut hole. This is a coverage phase where you now share a certain percentage of your drug costs with the insurance company. This phase typically comes at a higher expense to the member and the amounts shared changes from year to year.
You pay a small co-pay or co-insurance amount. This phase begins after you have a spent a certain threshold of expenses. You will typically only reach this phase if you are taking expensive, brand name drugs.