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Mysteries of Medicare: Medicare Annual Open Enrollment - Do I Need Medicare Part D?
The Chester County Department of Aging, through its APPRISE program of trained Medicare counselors, helps Medicare beneficiaries to understand Medicare, related programs, and insurance plans.
APPRISE counselors are frequently asked whether it’s necessary to buy a Part D plan. The short answer is that it’s not required, but it is almost always to your advantage to get a Medicare Part D plan or other creditable coverage when you are first eligible, meaning in your Initial Enrollment Period, or in a Special Enrollment Period.
What is Part D? Medicare Part D is prescription drug coverage offered to everyone with Medicare. The purpose of these plans is to help you pay for your prescriptions. Premiums, co-pays, and what drugs are covered (formularies) vary from plan to plan, but all must meet basic requirements set out by Medicare. This drug coverage is generally built into Medicare Advantage plans, and there are also plans without the medical component.
I don’t take any drugs, or only inexpensive drugs. Why should I pay for a plan?
There are two reasons:
Ouch! This can get expensive. How can I avoid the penalty and the risk of not having coverage when I need it?
If you have questions or want assistance in evaluating your situation, contact APPRISE. This Department of Aging Program counseling is free, unbiased, personal, informative and confidential. Counselors often find ways to help beneficiaries save money on prescriptions and premiums. We are now in the Annual Open Enrollment Period October 15 - December 7, 2019. Do not let the AOEP pass without an evaluation of your Medicare Advantage Plan or your Part D Plan. The counseling sessions are by appointment at area senior centers, libraries, some township buildings, or other local sites. To schedule an appointment during this enrollment period (or for help throughout the year) call your local senior center or for other AOEP locations please call 610-344-5234 during the Annual Open Enrollment October 15 – December 7, 2019.