Anyone who is eligible for Medicare is eligible for Medicare Part D - also known as the prescription drug coverage benefit. Although the enrollment is not automatic, signing up is straight-forward and can be very helpful for those who have monthly prescription drug costs.
What if I Already Have Prescription Drug Coverage?
If you have 'creditable' coverage through a private group health insurance plan, you are allowed to apply for an exemption. You will need to provide a letter from your Benefits Administrator confirming that you have adequate coverage through either your union, employer or spouse's employer.
What Penalties Can Be Levied Against Me If I Do Not Enroll?
The current legislation requires a penalty of 1% of the premium per month until enrollment in Medicare Part D Plan actually takes place. Congress have considered letting the penalty lapse, however, it is a cash cow for insurance companies, so they are adamantly against it.
What is "Extra Help" and Will It Help Me If I Cannot Afford to Pay Premiums for Medicare Part D Plan?
The "LIS" (Low Income Supplement) is a way to help individuals or families who require help in making either their Medigap premium payments of their payments for Medicare Part D Plan. Families with assets of $25,010 and income of $21,855 or less they can qualify for help. Individuals with an income of $16,245 and assets of $12,510 or less they can qualify. Note that your house and car are not included in the calculation of assets. If your situation qualifies, you can complete an SSA-1020 form and submit it to the Social Security Administration who will evaluate and determine eligibility.