Introduction to Medicare: Part D


This is a brief 5-Part Simple Series to provide an Introduction to Medicare. After the initial introduction, each post will provide a description and information about one Part of Medicare including important deadlines, eligible applicants and other critical features.


What Is Medicare Part D?

Medicare Part D helps cover the cost of prescription drugs. Joining a Medicare prescription drug plan is voluntary, and you pay an extra monthly premium for the coverage. Beneficiaries with higher incomes may pay a higher monthly Part D premium.


Am I Eligible for Medicare Part D?

Anyone who has Medicare Part A and/or Part B is eligible for Part D.


How Much Does It Cost?

The 2017 Part D National Base Beneficiary Premium is $35.63. Be aware, this rate can change each year. This figure it used to estimate the late enrollment penalty.


                                     If your yearly income in 2015 was  

You pay (in 2017)


File individual tax return


File joint tax return


File married & separate tax return

$85,000 of less $170,000 or less $85,000 or less Your plan premium

Above $85,000 up to $107,000


Above $170,000 up to $214,000




$13.30 + your plan premium


Above $107,000 up to $160,000


Above $214,000 up to $320,000




$34.20 + your plan premium


Above $160,000 up to $214,000


Above $320,000 up to $428,000


Above $85,000 up to $129,000


$55.20 + your plan premium


Above $214,000


Above $428,000


Above $129,000


$76.20 + your plan premium


What Are Critical Enrollment Deadlines for Medicare Part D?

You are eligible for Medicare Part D the same time you are eligible for Part A and B. If you’re eligible when you turn 65, your initial enrollment period begins three months prior to your 65th birthday. If you don’t enroll in a Medicare drug plan when you’re first eligible, you may pay a late enrollment penalty if you join a plan later. You’ll have to pay this penalty for as long as you have Medicare prescription drug coverage. You can also enroll or change plans during the annual Medicare open enrollment period from October 15 – December 7.


When Will My Coverage Start?

If you enroll during your initial enrollment period, your coverage will begin the 1st of your birthday month. For example, if you turn 65 on February 28, your coverage will begin February 1. If you enroll during the enrollment period from October 15-December 7, your coverage will begin January 1 of the upcoming year.


For more information about Senior Patient Advocates or to learn about Medicare Part D or other components visit Senior Patient Advocates’ website, sign up for upcoming Medicare course curriculum, or call (307) 472-1770.


Public Information Resources (Do Not Need to be Sited):

Social Security Administration Handbook

Medicare Rates from Terry

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