IF YOU HAVE A MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN:
Drug coverage is already included in the plan.
IF YOU GET A MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT:
Drug coverage is not included. You should buy a separate drug plan.
GET THE RIGHT PLAN:
All drug plans are not created equal. If you’re taking medications, you should have a broker check your specific medications against all the drug plans to find your lowest out-of-pocket amount. A broker can check many plans – but if you call an insurance company, they can only check their plans. Your out-of-pocket costs can vary a LOT from plan to plan. And you can only change plans during Open Enrollment, so it’s important that you get it right.
WHAT IF I DON’T TAKE ANY DRUGS?
Your should buy a plan anyway – otherwise you may accrue a penalty.
WHAT IS THE PENALTY?
If you don’t get a drug plan when you’re 1st eligible, and then you decide later that you need drug coverage – you accrue a penalty for the time that you didn’t have coverage. Let’s say you didn’t have coverage for 5 years. The penalty is roughly $5/year. So your penalty is $5 x 5 years = $25. IMPORTANT: Your penalty of $25 is added to the cost of your drug plan every month for the rest of your life! So it’s better to buy an inexpensive drug plan even if you’re not taking drugs at the time – just to avoid the penalty. An inexpensive drug plan might cost about $15/mo.