Medicare Part D: What You Need To Know

Medicare consists of four different parts, one being Part D. Medicare Part D is a supplemental drug prescription program. The program began in January of 2006. How does a person apply and how does the program work?

Medicare Part D is available to anyone who is eligible for Medicare Part A. There are monthly premiums for Part D, and the amount differs by policy. There are two methods of enrolling in a Medicare Part B plan. The first is to contact a local company that sells Medicare Part B policies. Many companies advertise these programs, or a search on the internet can bring up different options. The best place to find a program near you is at the Medicare web site, By entering your medicare number and zip code, you can find a plan in your area. These policies are called stand alone insurance policies, as they only cover prescription coverage.

Another option for getting coverage is to sign up with a Medicare Advantage Plan. These are plans offered through a private company, where the covered individual uses the HMO or PPO benefits rather than Medicare. Many of these companies offer prescription riders with their policies and some even include prescription coverage as a standard benefit.

Anyone signing up for Medicare Part D needs to understand that their are expenses involved. First of all, premiums are charged for coverage. Some plans require a deductible to be meet before coverage benefits kick in. All plans have a co payment for prescriptions. As with standard insurance, most Medicare Prescription plans have varying copays for generic, formulary and nonformulary medications. Also, some prescriptions require authorization due to their cost or usage.

People desiring to sign up for Medicare Part D, can begin doing so as of November 15th during any calendar year. The enrollment period runs till December 31st. However, if a family or individual's income is below a certain level, or the individual has both Medicare and Medicaid, enrollment is open at any time.

Before purchasing a Medicare Part D supplement , it is important to decide if the coverage is right for you. Add up the costs of your prescriptions, and compare it to the cost of the Medicare Part D plan, deductibles, and co-pays. If you come out ahead with a Medicare Part D plan, it might be worth your investment.