“Do I have to sign up for a Part D plan if I have a Medigap plan to supplement my Medicare?” You are not alone if you have thought about this. Even if drug prescriptions are not important to you now, there are reasons to enroll in a plan.
Of course we know that the chances are great that we will need medication when we age. If you wait until you need medication to sign up and you do not join when you receive your Medicare, you will most likely need to pay a fine. The penalty imposed is 1% of the National Base Beneficiary monthly premium for Part D per month that you could have registered, but did not. This penalty is added to the premium of your chosen plan. The premium for National Basic Beneficiary for 2011 is $ 32.34. If you postpone your Part D membership for 1 year, you will receive a $ 3.88 penalty on your monthly premium for the one you choose Plan. The punishment is permanent.
The drug program of Medicare is called Medicare Part D. Part D is provided by private companies. These companies and the various prescriptions they provide must be approved by Medicare.
Everyone needs to cover certain medicines and meet certain coverage criteria in order to be approved. However, the plans can be very different in terms of premiums, co-payments and total expenses. If you have Original Medicare, you can sign up for a separate Part D Prescription Plan with your Medicare Supplement Plan. Many Medicare Advantage plans include Medicare Part A, B and D coverage. There are some that only cover A and B and require a separate Part D.
Given that all plans have different cost-sharing, an important part of your strategy to keep your healthcare costs to a minimum is to compare the plans available in your area. Your prescriptions are unique to you and choosing your medication plan should be based on your medication. You can get a detailed report comparing all plans in your area and using the Medicare Plan Finder on the Medicare website. This will display all the plans and how they relate to your unique list of medical requirements. You will also see the quality rating for each plan.
There are limited times when you can sign up for Medicare Part D. For example, you can sign up if you are 65 years old. You have a seven-month registration period. This is called your initial enrollment period (IEP). It starts 3 months before the month of your birthday, includes the month of your birthday and ends on the last day of the third month after your birthday. Also, there is the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP). When this is in force, you can first sign up for a Plan for Part D or switch from one Medicare plan to the next. There are also several Special Registration Periods (SEP) in which you can register under certain circumstances. For example, if you lose your employer coverage, you can qualify for a SEP.
The plans for Part D change from year to year. Prices change, formulas change, co-pay changes and new plans become available. Use the AEP every year by checking your medication coverage and making sure you have the right plan every year. It takes a few minutes and can save thousands of dollars a year.