If you don’t have prescription drug coverage, paying for medications can get quite expensive. You can avoid these high costs by adding prescription drug coverage to Medicare. If you have Original Medicare (Part A or Part B), you will need to add Medicare Part D coverage in Georgia. If you prefer to get Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C), you can get Medicare Part D coverage with a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plan.
Many people think that Original Medicare includes prescription drug coverage. Although it does cover medications you receive at a hospital, as well as medications that you cannot administer to yourself, such as vaccines, it does not cover the medications you pick up from the pharmacy and take home. To get coverage for those medications, you must add Medicare Part D coverage in Georgia.
Private insurance companies that have been approved by Medicare offer Medicare Part D. These plans are not bundled with Original Medicare. That means Original Medicare will cover your medical expenses while Medicare Part D will cover your prescription drugs.
If you prefer to have a single policy, a Medicare Advantage Plan might be the right choice. Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plans bundle Medicare Part D and health insurance into one plan. You can purchase these plans from private insurers.
The government has put regulations in place for Medicare Advantage plans. These regulations require that the plans provide the same coverage people get with Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). Many insurance companies offer additional benefits, as well. You can find plans that offer vision and dental benefits, wellness programs, prescription drug coverage, and more.
You can enroll in coverage if you:
Your IEP depends on your reason for getting Medicare. If you are getting Medicare because you are turning 65, your IEP will begin three months before your birthday, run through the month of your birthday, and end three months after; 7 months total.
If you are getting Medicare due to a disability, your IEP starts after receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits for 24 months. It continues through your Medicare eligibility month (25th month of receiving benefits) and continues for 3 months after that.
If you missed the IEP, you can enroll during the Annual Election Period. This period begins on Oct. 15 and ends on Dec. 7. You can change your existing Medicare plan and add Medicare Part D coverage in Georgia during this time.
If you have Medicare Advantage and prefer to go back to Original Medicare, you can make the change during the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period. It runs from Jan. 1 to Feb. 14, and you can also add Medicare Part D coverage during this time.
The Special Election Period does not have a set date. Instead, you will enter a Special Election Period if you meet certain criteria, such as moving out of your current plan’s service area or moving to a new location with additional options. If you qualify, you can enroll in Medicare Part D coverage during this period.
It is best to enroll in Medicare Part D coverage in Georgia during the IEP. You have 62 days to get Medicare Part D or creditable coverage after the IEP ends. If you don’t have coverage by day 63, you will have to pay a penalty if you choose to add the coverage later.
To calculate the penalty, the government multiplies the months without coverage by 1 percent of the national base premium. The national base premium was $33.19 in 2019. The premium can go up each calendar year.
Once the penalty is calculated, it will be added to your Medicare Part D premium. You will pay the penalty each month until it is paid off.
Prescription drug coverage can protect your health and your finances. The right coverage means you can get the prescriptions you need without spending too much out of your own pocket. Since it’s so important to get the right coverage, talk to a licensed insurance agent. Call 844-903-4406 to get help selecting Medicare Part D coverage in Georgia or a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plan.