It’s official: You signed up for Original Medicare Parts A and B. Your enrollment isn’t quite finished yet though — at least, it shouldn’t be. Your next step is to enroll in a prescription drug plan. This is true even if you’re not presently taking any medications. It is important that you enroll in a timely fashion to avoid lifetime late enrollment penalties. The two ways to get drug coverage are through a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) which usually includes a prescription drug plan (known as MA PDP); or to enroll in a stand-alone Part D plan.

When selecting an MA PDP or Part D plan it is important to consider:

• Are the medications you’re taking on the plan’s list of covered drugs?
• Monthly premiums, deductibles, copayments and coinsurance.
• Which pharmacies are in network.

If you need help paying for your prescriptions, consider applying for Extra Help, a low-income subsidy program from the Social Security Administration. If you are not sure if you qualify, contact Hawaii SHIP to have a trained specialist compare Part D plans for you and help determine your eligibility.

Free, local, one-on-one Medicare counseling is provided by the Hawai‘i State Health Insurance Assistance Program.
250 South Hotel St., Ste. 406, Honolulu, HI 96813
Oahu: 808-586-7299 | Toll free: 888-875-9229