Medicare Part D If You Take No Drugs?

Do you really need Medicare Part D if you’re not taking any medications? Not necessarily.


However, many folks don’t realize that there is a Part D penalty that Medicare beneficiaries are subject to for every month that they go without credible Part D coverage. It’s called the Part D “Late Enrollment Penalty”. The late enrollment penalty amount typically is 1% of the Part D national base beneficiary premium for each full, uncovered month that the person didn’t have Part D or creditable coverage. Medicare, not the drug company determines the penalty. And Medicare bases this off of the average Part D premium for that year. The national base beneficiary premium for 2019 is $33.19. The monthly penalty is rounded to the nearest $0.10 and added to the monthly Part D premium. So, let’s say in our example this person has been without credible Part D drug coverage for 30 months. 1% of $33.19 is $.33. $.33 x 30 months = $9.90. This person has now accumulated a $9.90 Part D late enrollment penalty, and this penalty is going to be tacked on to their Part D premium for the rest of the time they have a Part D plan. If this person signs up for a Part D drug plan that is $20/month, the total premium will now be $29.90/month with the late enrollment penalty added on.

In general, if you have had a break in credible prescription drug coverage of 63 days or more after the end of your initial enrollment period for Medicare, you will face a Part D penalty.

Even if you are taking no medications you can always simply sign up for the least expensive Part D plan in your area to avoid the penalty. In many areas Part D drug plans begin at $10-$15/month. The video above will show you how to do this easily online. Please call or email with questions! (888) 465-9728 or

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