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How To Avoid Unnecessary Part D Penalties

Prescription drug prices in the United States are among some of the highest in the world. This is why it is imperative that you have proper prescription drug coverage once you become eligible for Medicare. Depending on how you decide to receive your Medicare benefits, if your plan does not include Part D drug coverage, you must sign up for it separately.   

You should sign up for Part D the same time you enroll in Medicare. Even if you do not take any prescription drugs regularly right now, if you wait to sign up, you will be charged a penalty on your premium for every month you waited to enroll. Medicare calculates the penalty amount by multiplying 1% of the “national base beneficiary premium”, which is $32.74 for 2023, times the number of full, uncovered months a beneficiary did not have Part D or creditable prescription drug coverage. The monthly premium is then rounded to the nearest $.10 and added to your Part D premium. The national base beneficiary premium may increase each year, so the penalty amount may also increase each year.  

*The only way to avoid this penalty without signing up for Part D is by having equivalent drug coverage called creditable coverage from another source. Your plan’s administrator can tell you whether or not your plan is equivalent. If you utilize the VA for your RX, this may be Creditable Coverage for Part D but not Part B. 

Depending on where you live you may have dozens of private plans to choose from. These plans will have different premium amounts, copayments, level of coverage and drug formularies. Choosing a plan that is right for you can save you literally thousands of dollars in premiums and out of pocket expenses. And individuals and couples with limited income may qualify for Extra Help from Social Security to help pay for their Part D premium and out of pocket drug costs. What is your next step now that you have equipped yourself with all of this new information? 

Call Trusted Senior Specialists today. Our experts can help you tackle this most important component of Medicare so you will not be left unprotected or coping with costly mistakes in the future. 

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