Medicare Part D: What Seniors 65 and Older Need to Know

Paying for medications has become increasingly difficult for today’s seniors, who are often faced with expensive medications to treat chronic conditions.  There are a few different ways to get prescription drug coverage through Medicare, however, that can save patients thousands of dollars in prescriptions costs each year.  Medicare Part D, which provides insurance that helps cover the costs of prescription medications, is a Medicare program that many individuals now utilize to help cover the cost of prescriptions.  Before selecting a Medicare Part D plan, it’s important to understand how the program works in order to avoid problems down the road.

Anyone who is currently on Medicare Part A or Part B is eligible to sign up for drug coverage, regardless of how much they currently make.  These types of prescription insurance plans don’t require the patient to get a physical, and you won’t be denied coverage if you are already on several different medications, which is important for many patients who are 65 and older.

In many cases, signing up for Medicare Part D is voluntary, however, if you are planning on getting your drugs from Medicaid, then you must use a Part D plan to get them as soon as you hit the point of eligibility for Medicare.  Those who already have better drug coverage than what is offered by a Medicare drug plan don’t have to sign up for Part D.

It’s important not to delay signing up for Medicare Part D if you need it and don’t have any other coverage, since you’ll incur a penalty charge for singing up late that increases the costs of your premiums for as long as you are in the program.  Signing up late also means that you can’t add the coverage unless it’s during the open enrollment period at the end of the year.

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