Medicare Prescription Part D is insurance coverage for your prescription drugs. This coverage is offered to everyone on Medicare. If you don’t enroll in a prescription drug plan when you first become eligible for Medicare, you’ll likely pay a late enrollment fee unless you have other prescription coverage already or are receiving Extra Help.
To enroll in a Prescription Drug Plan, you must enroll in a plan offered by a Medicare approved insurance company. Unlike health insurance, you cannot enroll in these plans any day of the year, there are specific periods when you’re able to enroll:
The first period is called the Initial Enrollment Period. You’re able to purchase a Part D plan during the period you first go on Medicare. You have 3 months prior to your Medicare effective date and 3 months after.
If you miss this opportunity to enroll, you cannot obtain coverage until the Annual Enrollment Period, which takes place Oct. 15 – Dec. 7 each year. You cannot make changes to your drug plan outside this period, unless you qualify for a special enrollment.
There are numerous insurance companies that offer Part D drug prescription plans. Make sure you take advantage of your initial enrollment period so you are not penalized with a late fee.