Even if you aren’t currently taking any medications, if you’re turning 65 soon and will be eligible for Medicare, you may want to seriously consider enrolling in Part D coverage at the same time you enroll for Medicare. In most cases, delaying Part D enrollment means you’ll have to pay a penalty if you want to enroll later than when you are first eligible.
If you’re thinking you won’t need prescription drug coverage in the future, odds are you will. In the study, released in 2019, which covers the years 2015 and 2016, 45.8% of respondents age 65 and over reported that they had used five or more prescription drugs in the last 30 days.
A Potential Low-Cost Option for Part D Coverage
In an effort to avoid a late enrollment penalty, you could enroll in a low-cost plan to start, which could then be changed annually during an enrollment period, should you need to make changes in the future. For example, SeniorCare, Wisconsin’s prescription drug assistance program, has an annual fee of $30.
With this program, your annual income determines your level of coverage; however, having even basic coverage at the start of your Medicare eligibility may allow you to avoid any future late enrollment penalties.
To enroll in SeniorCare, you must:
- Be a Wisconsin resident.
- Be a U.S. citizen or have qualifying immigrant status.
- Be 65 years of age or older.
Sounds simple, right? It is! As long you maintain drug coverage, with any gap in coverage lasting less than 63 days, you will not face a Part D late enrollment penalty .
So – before you make decisions about Medicare Part D coverage, we encourage you to consider at least a basic, low-cost plan to see if it makes sense for you and if it will help you avoid penalties in the future. If you have questions about your specific situation, ask your wealth manager at your next review, or contact our office at 715-832-1173.