If you are enrolled in a Medicare drug plan, you’re likely to be charged a monthly premium for coverage. This is in addition to your Original Medicare premiums.
Medicare beneficiaries have the option to sign up for a Medicare drug plan, also known as a Part D plan, for prescription drug coverage. This can be either in the form of a stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) or a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MAPD) plan. Both of these Part D plans come with out-of-pocket costs, including a monthly premium, and the cost of that premium will vary between plans. Beneficiaries must pay their monthly premium before a Part D plan begins its coverage.
How to pay for Medicare drug plan premiums
If you’re a Medicare beneficiary looking to set up an automatic payment for your Medicare drug plan premium, one option is to have it deducted from your Social Security payment. This is set up through your drug plan and the first payment deduction takes approximately three months to start, at which point three months of premiums will be deducted at once. Once the initial charge goes through you will then be charged monthly.
If at any time you would like to stop your Social Security premium deductions, you can opt out through your Medicare drug plan and choose to receive direct billing instead.
Medicare.gov tells us that you may also see a delay in premiums being withheld if you switch plans.
Extra Help for assistance in paying Medicare drug plan premiums
Medicare Extra Help (or low-income subsidy) is federal assistance that helps qualifying beneficiaries with the costs of their prescription drug coverage. The Extra Help program is available to provide financial assistance with monthly premiums, copayments, and coinsurance. And beneficiaries do not have to worry about paying large out-of-pocket amounts because there is no coverage gap in Extra Help.
Extra Help is available for qualified beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Part D and whose yearly income and resources are limited. The Social Security Administration defines limited income and resources as the following: if your combined savings, investments, and real estate are not worth more than $26,580, if you are married and living with your spouse, or $13,300 if you are not currently married or not living with your spouse. When you are tallying your personal assets, you do not include your home, car, household items, burial plot, up to $1,500 in burial expenses (per person), or life insurance policies.
How do you pay for your Medicare prescription drug costs?
Medicare hasn’t approved or endorsed this information.