Do you need a Prescription Drug Plan when you turn Medicare Eligible?

Do you need a Prescription Drug Plan when you turn Medicare Eligible?

When you become eligible for Medicare, understanding your options for prescription drug coverage is crucial to managing your healthcare needs effectively. Here’s a breakdown of why you might need a Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) and what it entails.

Why Consider a Prescription Drug Plan?

  1. Coverage for Medications: Medicare Parts A and B (Original Medicare) do not cover most prescription drugs. A Prescription Drug Plan (Part D) helps cover the cost of medications, ensuring you have access to necessary prescriptions without facing exorbitant out-of-pocket expenses.

  2. Avoiding Penalties: If you do not enroll in a Prescription Drug Plan when you are first eligible and decide to enroll later, you may incur a late enrollment penalty. This penalty is added to your Part D premium for as long as you have the plan, making it cost-effective to enroll as soon as you are eligible.

  3. Health and Financial Security: Medications can be expensive, and costs can add up quickly, especially for those with chronic conditions. A Part D plan helps manage and predict your medication expenses, providing financial stability and peace of mind.

What is a Prescription Drug Plan?

A Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D) is insurance that covers prescription drugs. You can obtain this coverage through:

  1. Standalone Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs): These plans add drug coverage to Original Medicare (Parts A and B) and certain Medicare Cost Plans.

  2. Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C): These plans bundle Medicare Parts A, B, and usually D into one plan. They are offered by private insurance companies approved by Medicare.

Steps to Enroll in a Prescription Drug Plan

  1. Determine Your Eligibility: You’re eligible for Medicare when you turn 65 or if you have a qualifying disability. You can enroll in a Part D plan during your Initial Enrollment Period, which starts three months before you turn 65 and ends three months after your birth month.

  2. Compare Plans: Use the Medicare Plan Finder on the Medicare website to compare plans available in your area. Look for plans that cover your current medications and have a preferred pharmacy network.

  3. Enroll in a Plan: You can enroll online through the Medicare website, by calling Medicare, or by contacting the plan directly.


Having a Prescription Drug Plan when you turn Medicare eligible is not mandatory, but it is highly beneficial. It provides essential coverage for medications, helps avoid late enrollment penalties, and offers financial protection against high drug costs. Evaluating your healthcare needs and comparing available plans will help you make an informed decision that best suits your situation.

Have any questions? Call us at 980-272-8203‬