Everyone with Medicare is entitled to receive prescription drug coverage from Medicare, but you must join a Medicare Part D plan to receive this benefit. You join a plan by choosing an offering from a Medicare-approved insurance carrier. Many carriers offer multiple options, or levels of coverage, and the prices and benefits vary by state of residence. The most cost-effective choice of plan will vary greatly from person to person, as the amount of money one is responsible to pay out-of-pocket depends on the specific prescriptions needed each month.
Even if you feel that you do not need prescription coverage because you do not take any prescription medication on a regular basis, neglecting to enroll in prescription drug coverage is inadvisable. If you decide NOT to join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan when you are first eligible, AND you do not have other creditable prescription drug coverage or receive “Extra Help” through a government program, you will be assessed a late enrollment penalty by Medicare. This penalty accrues by month, and when you eventually decide to enroll in a Part D plan, you will be responsible to pay the penalty amount each month on top of your membership fee for the remainder of your life.