Medicare offers prescription drug coverage to everyone with Medicare. If you decide not to join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan when you’re first eligible, and you don’t have other creditable prescription drug coverage, or you don’t get Extra Help, you’ll likely pay a late enrollment penalty.
To get Medicare drug coverage, you must join a plan run by an insurance company or other private company approved by Medicare. Each plan can vary in cost and drugs covered.
2 ways to get drug coverage
- Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D). These plans (sometimes called “PDPs”) add drug coverage to Original Medicare, some Medicare Cost Plans, some Medicare Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) Plans, and Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA) Plans.
- Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) (like an HMO or PPO) or otherMedicare health plan that offers Medicare prescription drug coverage. You get all of your Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance)and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) coverage, and prescription drug coverage (Part D), through these plans. Medicare Advantage Plans with prescription drug coverage are sometimes called “MA-PDs.” You must have Part A and Part B to join a Medicare Advantage Plan.
How to join a drug plan
Once you choose a Medicare drug plan, here’s how you may be able to join:
- Enroll on the Medicare Plan Finder or on the plan’s website.
- Complete a paper enrollment form.
- Call the plan.
- Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).
When you join a Medicare drug plan, you’ll give your Medicare number and the date your Part A and/or Part B coverage started. This information is on your Medicare card.
Joining a Medicare drug plan may affect your Medicare Advantage Plan
If your Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) includes prescription drug coverage and you join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D), you’ll be disenrolled from your Medicare Advantage Plan and returned toOriginal Medicare.
Source: Medicare.gov, “How to get drug coverage” http://www.medicare.gov website. Accessed November 28, 2015. http://www.medicare.gov/sign-up-change-plans/get-drug-coverage/get-drug-coverage.html
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