3 Tips to Choose Medicare Plan D

Nothing is easy in the Medicare world. If you have Medicare Supplemental, or Medigap insurance to fill the gaps in what original Medicare insurance doesn’t offer, then you need a Part D prescription drug plan.

Be Aware There’s a Penalty for Not Signing Up

There’s a monetary penalty for failing to sign up for Medicare Part D. If you don’t have any other type of prescription medication coverage, you have 63 days after you sign up for Medicare to also join a Part D plan. If not, Medicare will add a late penalty to your Medicare premium. They have a formula that gives them a base figure-$31.17 for 2013 and $32.42 for 2014. And they multiply it by the number of months you went without prescription drug coverage.

Tip 1

 COMPARISON SHOP

Not all Medicare Plan D programs are the same. Plans offered by private insurers vary from state to state. The same insurers provide the range of Medicare supplemental plans. So you may already be familiar with them. Jennifer Cohen-Smith of United HealthCare says, “It’s really important to investigate the Part D options. Take stock of the prescription drugs that you are taking and what plans are available to you.”

  • Make a list of your prescription drugs
  • Match your list to what the plans offer
  • Check to see if an insurer limits the amount of prescription medication you can take.

Joe Baker of the Medicare Rights Center says, “You want to look when you choose a Part D plan not only for price, not only is your drug covered but are there any tricky rules that may hit you in the pocketbook.

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Barbara Nevins Taylor

As the winner of 22 Emmy Awards and a slew of journalism honors and awards, I created ConsumerMojo.com to give you the straight story about complicated stuff. Tell us what you want to know and we'll get you the answers.