Taking the first step.

What is Part D?

Medicare Part D is prescription coverage available through private insurance companies that are contracted by Medicare. Costs and availability may differ between Medicare plans, insurance companies, and location. Part D coverage is insurance only for your medications. You pay a monthly premium to an insurance carrier for your Part D plan. Each Part D plan has a different set of co-pays, formulary, deductible and contracted pharmacies.

Many Medicare Advantage Plans may include Part D coverage so you will not need to enroll into a separate drug plan if that is case. However, if you are enrolled into a Medicare Supplement (also known as Medigap) then you do not have Part D coverage. You will need to enroll into a prescription plan if you want drug coverage.

You may enroll in a stand alone drug plan or a Medicare Advantage Prescription Plan during certain times of the year:

Initial Enrollment Period for Part D (IEP for Part D)
This is the period you’re first eligible for Medicare prescription drug coverage. It usually overlaps with the period that you’re first eligible for Medicare, starting three months before you turn 65, including your birthday month, and ending three months later (for a total of seven months). If you are eligible for Medicare through disability, this period starts three months before your 25th month of disability benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board and lasts for seven months.
Annual Election Period (October 15 to December 7)
This is your yearly opportunity to make changes to your Medicare Part D coverage or to sign up for it if you don’t already have it. During this time, you can enroll in a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan or Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan for the first time, switch Medicare plans, or disenroll from your plan.
Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (January 1 to February 14)
If you are enrolled in Medicare Part C and change your mind, you can use this period to disenroll from your Medicare Advantage plan and return to Original Medicare. You can also use this time to enroll in a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. You can’t use this period to make other changes to your Medicare Part D coverage.
Special Election Period
Outside of the above periods, you can only enroll in Medicare Part D or make changes to your coverage if you qualify for a Special Election Period. Some examples of situations that may qualify you for a Special Election Period include, but aren’t limited to, moving outside of your Medicare plan’s service area, losing your Medicaid eligibility, or moving into a nursing home.

It is important to remember that Part D plans may change from year to year. So your plans deductible, co-pays, pharmacies and formularies may change. It is advised to review your drug plan each year. Should you choose to change your Part D plan, Medicare offers an annual election period from October 15th through December 7th each year.

Choosing the right Part D plan can be overwhelming and confusing. Here at Blue Compass Solutions we will do a Part D drug plan analysis at completely no charge. We will request your full list of medications so we can shop around the various drug plans. We’ll help you identify which plan gives you the lowest annual spending. If any rules apply to any of your medications, we can often spot that ahead of time. This gives you time to discuss your options with your doctor. Please call us for a free analysis at (844) 817-0878

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