No, you are not required to join a Medicare drug plan- joining a drug plan is your choice. However, to have Medicare help pay for your drugs, you must join a plan that provides Medicare prescription drug coverage. These plans are run by an insurance company or other private company approved by Medicare.
There are 2 ways to get your Medicare prescription drug coverage
- Part D (PDPs)– These plans are stand-alone plans that add drug coverage to Original Medicare.
- Medicare Advantage Plans (MAPD)– You get all of your Part A and Part B coverage as well as prescription drug coverage (Part D) through these plans. You must have both Part A and Part B to join a Medicare Advantage Plan.
Each plan varies in both cost and drugs covered. You can choose to join the plan that best meets your needs. Consider enrolling during your Initial Enrollment Period, even if you do not use a lot of prescription drugs at that time, because there is a penalty for waiting. Because of this penalty, if you choose to join later, your premium will be higher.
Medicare drug plans are not only prescription specific, but they are also location specific. You must live in the service area of the plan you choose. We’ve made it easy to research these plans with our Medicare Part D online catalog. Just click here – enter your age, zip code and all your prescription drugs, along with your dosage information. You will be shown top rated plans in your area specific to your prescription drug care needs.