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Medicare Part D covers prescription drugs.

(Part A covers hospital expenses. Part B covers doctors expenses. Part C can cover all three. Part C plans include Medicare Advantage policies.)

You could pay a penalty if you don’t have Part D. Or worse. You might need an expensive drug you can’t afford.

If you decide on a Medicare Supplement Plan, I’ll probably recommend a standalone drug plan. No supplement covers part D prescriptions.

However, there are three situations where you should not have a standalone Part D plan.

Applying for a Standalone Part D Prescription Drug Plan may not be a good idea if…

  • You have a Medicare Advantage Plan you want to keep
  • You get drug coverage from an employer
  • You get drug coverage from the Veterans Administration

If You Have a Medicare Advantage Plan You Want to Keep

Don’t apply for a standalone prescription drug plan. Your Medicare Advantage Plan will be cancelled.

Even if you have a Medicare Advantage plan that does not include drug coverage, it will be cancelled.

By who? The Federal government.

There are exceptions, but they don’t apply in Connecticut in 2018.If You Get Drug Coverage from An Employer

You could wear raincoat and watch TV on your living room couch. Unless you have a leaky roof, this probably isn’t a good idea.

If the drug coverage you get at work is “creditable,” a separate drug plan is probably a waste of your money.

(“Creditable” means it meets Medicare’s minimum standards.)

If You Get Drug Coverage from the Veterans Administration

You may or may not want drug coverage. Some veterans find it inconvenient to get their drugs from the VA.

Penalties for Not Having Prescription Drug Coverage

You will pay a penalty if you don’t have drug coverage. But…

You don’t have to get it from a standalone Part D Plan. No penalty applies if you have any Part D or other creditable coverage.

  • Most Medicare Advantage Plans include Part D coverage
  • Most employer-sponsored plans include “creditable” coverage.
  • Veterans Administration drug coverage is creditable

You Should Enroll in a Standalone Part D Prescription Drug Plan if:

  • You prefer to get your medical coverage from a Medicare Supplement instead of an Advantage plan.
  • Your employer-sponsored coverage doesn’t include creditable drug coverage

Let me know when you have questions about drug coverage. You can reach me at (203) 374-3645

Alston J. Balkcom

About Post Author

Alston J. Balkcom

“ Connecticut-licensed insurance agent since 1985.”

When a separate Medicare Prescription Drug plan isn't necessary, just a waste of money, or worse.