Part D Prescription Drug Plans (PDP)


You can sign up for Part D Prescription Drug Plans, which helps cover prescription drug costs, along with other components of Medicare starting three months before your 65th birth month and 3 months after your 65th birth month (7 months total).

It’s important to do this on time because there’s a permanent premium penalty for enrolling more than three months after your 65th birthday if you don’t have creditable drug coverage from another source, such as an employer-sponsored group plan or a retiree plan.

If you are already enrolled in Part D “stand-alone” plan you can switch plans during the Annual Election Period which runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 every year.

Choosing a plan

Start at

You can find the basics about the benefit and Part D plans at

There’s a link to the Medicare Part D Plan Finder, which allows you to compare offerings and coverage options in your area and includes a helpful formulary finder that allows you to compare plans based on their coverage of your personalized list of drugs.

It will even show you your monthly out-of-pocket drug cost for the year.

Medicare Part D Late Enrollment Penalty

If you delay Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage or go without other creditable coverage for 63 days, you may be charged a late-enrollment penalty when you do enroll in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan.

Medicare calculates your late-enrollment penalty by multiplying 1% per month of the national base beneficiary premium ($33.19 per month in 2019) for Part D plans by the number of full months you didn’t have Medicare Part D or other creditable coverage.

That penalty is added to your monthly Medicare Part D premium for as long as you are paying your own Part D premium.

The national base beneficiary premium may increase each year, so your late enrollment penalty may likewise increase each year.

This information comes from  the website

Getting financial help

Individuals with annual incomes of less than $18,735 and financial resources of less than $14,390, or married couples with incomes of less than $25,365 and resources less than $28,720, might qualify for Extra Help from Medicare to pay their Part D premiums and out-of-pocket drug costs.

Download Medicare’s instructions on applying for the Extra Help program.

Additionally, read about the six ways to lower your drug costs on

This information was obtained from

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