Part D enrollment is optional, but if you do not sign up for Part D you may have a late enrollment penalty if you enroll at a later time. However, you can delay Part D without penalty if you are currently covered by creditable drug coverage. Creditable drug coverage is coverage that has an overall value that is as good as or better than standard coverage under Part D. You may receive creditable coverage from your current employer insurance, retiree insurance, military benefits, or federal health benefits. If your drug coverage is creditable you will receive notice from the plan around September each year. If you do not receive this notice you should contact your benefits manager to get this information in writing. Keep these notices as you will need proof of your creditable coverage if you decide later that you want to enroll in Medicare Part D. If you lose your creditable drug coverage, for example, if you were covered by an employer plan and decide to retire, you have 60 days after losing that creditable coverage to enroll into a Part D plan without a late enrollment penalty.
Note that if you are thinking of signing up for a Part D plan in addition to your current drug coverage, you should ask your employer or retirement benefits administrator if you can keep their coverage and have Part D at the same time. You could lose your employer, retiree, or other benefits if you sign up for a Part D plan. It is important to keep this in mind if your plan covers a spouse or dependents because if you lose coverage, they will too, and it is unlikely you will be able to get the coverage back.
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