Do I have to enroll in a Medicare drug plan?

A Answers (2)

  • A , Internal Medicine, answered

    You don’t have to do anything (well, except maybe breathe). Enrolling in a Medicare drug plan is optional. If you elect not to enroll, you will pay for your prescription drugs on your own. Here’s the tricky part. While you can choose not to enroll in a drug plan right away, if you decide later on that you do want a plan because your doc just prescribed a ton of meds for you, you have to wait until the open enrollment period (mid-October to early December), and you will pay a penalty and a higher premium.

    So enrolling in a drug plan when you are first eligible may be beneficial even if you don’t take a lot of prescription medications, especially because as you age, you may require more medication to stay healthy. If you are still working after age 65, and your employer offers health insurance, check with that employer, as enrolling in the drug benefit option of Medicare may make you ineligible for your employer’s drug benefit plan. But do enroll in Medicare within three months of your 65th birthday because your Social Security benefits may be tied to just enrolling.

  • You do not have to enroll in a Medicare drug plan (Part D) unless you want Medicare to help pay for your medication. Joining a Medicare drug plan is your choice, so choose a plan that best meets your needs. If you choose to do so, joining when you're first eligible helps to avoid penalties for joining later. The penalty is set by Medicare. For each month you delay, you may pay an addiitonal 1% (of the average premium) per month. You will pay that penalty for as long as you're enrolled in Medicare Part D.
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
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