If you are covered by creditable drug coverage, you can delay Medicare Part D enrollment without penalty (see What Can I do to Appeal for a Part B Late Enrollment Penalty?).
Creditable drug coverage is, on average, as good as or better than the basic Part D benefit. You should receive a notice from your employer or plan around September of each year, informing you if your drug coverage is creditable. If you have not received this notice, contact your human resources department, drug plan, or benefits manager. Be aware that this information may not come as a separate piece of mail; it can be included with other materials, such as a plan newsletter.
Several types of plans offer creditable drug coverage, including:
- Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits
- TRICARE for Life (TFL)
- Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB)
- Some job-based and retiree plans
If you are considering delaying Part D enrollment because you already have prescription drug coverage, make sure to find out if your coverage is considered creditable. Maintaining enrollment in creditable drug coverage means you will not incur an LEP for delaying Part D enrollment (see Does Part D Have a Late Enrollment Penalty?). Additionally, having creditable coverage means that if you learn that you are going to lose such coverage and you want Part D coverage, you will have a two-month SEP to enroll in a Part D plan.
If you have no drug coverage, or have drug coverage that is not creditable, Part D may help you. Even if you do not take prescription drugs, it is important to enroll in Part D so that if you later need to access prescriptions you do not face penalties or gaps in coverage.
Remember, if you decide to delay enrollment in any part of Medicare, keep a record of yourinsurance until you enroll in Medicare. You may need this documentation in order to sign up for Medicare later.
Read Next: Employer-Based Coverage and Medicare Due To End-Stage Renal Disease.
Learn About: Job-Based Insurance and Medicare.
Return to: Medicare Admin
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