Medicare Part D is prescription drug coverage, and it helps cover the cost of prescription drugs. Part D is available to any individual with Medicare Parts A and/or B, and each Part D plan covers its own list of covered drugs that is subject to change at any time.

Should I sign up for Part D? 

Part D is an elective part of Medicare so you don’t have to be sign up for a plan. However, it may be in your best interest to enroll. There are penalties for not enrolling when you are first eligible. And most likely, you’ll only find out about these penalties later if you decide to take the Part D drug plan at some point in the future. In addition, you may end up paying a higher premium if you enroll later.

Even if you’re healthy and you don’t tend to take medications now, it may be a good idea to at least enroll in the lowest cost Medicare Part D drug plan in your area. This way you have coverage just in case and you can also avoid the Part D penalty.  We also recommend Part D beneficiaries to review their plan annually to ensure that they are on the best plan.

When can I sign up for Part D?

If you are enrolled in Original Medicare (Parts A and/or B), you can enroll for prescription drug coverage during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), which is the 7 month period encompassing the 3 months before, during, and 3 months after your 65th birthday. You can also enroll in Part D during the Annual Election Period (AEP), which runs yearly from October 15 to December 7.