Types of Medicare Part D Plans

Before you sign up for a plan on Medicare Part D, you should know the different types of plans that are available in the first place. You can get standalone Medicare Part D coverage that will be an accent to a different type of plan that you already have. You can also get Medicare Part D coverage as a companion to your Medicare Part A or B coverage. Part A is for hospital and inpatient care, Part B is for more usual doctor’s visits, vision. However, you don’t absolutely have to sign up for Medicare Part D. You can also get coverage through your employer if you are not retired, through your union or through the VA if you are a veteran.

What Does Medicare Part D Cover

It’s unfortunate, but Medicare Part D does not cover all the types of prescription drugs. They are only required to cover a certain number of drugs in each category, but that doesn’t mean it will cover the one you have been taking for a while. There are different type of drugs that have different preferences as far as Medicare Part D goes. Luckily the list is available online so you can see the different options available for the drugs you want to take. Some drugs are in a specialty class, which means you will have to pay a bit more. Others are preferred which means you don’t have to pay much at all. Still others are non-preferred and that’s when you would have to pay the most. So, as long as you are comfortable trying to work within the confines of what is available on Medicare Part D, you may find it is a great program!

What is Late-Enrollment with Medicare Part D Plans?

You are eligible to enroll in Medicare Part D as soon as you are 65 years old. However, if you do not enroll at that time, either due to an employer plan that provides prescription coverage, or coverage from Veterans Affairs, you will not incur a penalty. But if you do not enroll and you don’t have another type of prescription drug coverage, you will incur a penalty when the time does come to enroll. If you have not had drug coverage for more than 63 days, you will have to pay something. If you didn’t have any coverage you will have to pay about 1% of the average Medicare Part D premium for each month you didn’t have coverage, which gets added to your monthly premium. In most cases, this isn’t all that much, but it is definitely something to think about before you go without coverage!

How Does it Cover You?

The way that Medicare Part D works is that you do have to pay a deductible in the beginning of the year of only $405. So you will cover the first $405 of your prescription drugs. Then, after that you just pay a 25% coinsurance up to a certain point. After that point, you have to pay more of a percentage, until you reach the catastrophic rate, after which point you have to pay just 5% of the cost of your drugs. At the beginning of each year the clock resets. That gap in the middle is known as the “donut hole” and in that phase you pay 44% of generic drug retail price and 35% of brand name drugs. You do have to pay a monthly premium that is on the low side compared to the overall cost of health insurance, it just depends on the type of plan you have.

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