Can I Have More Than One Medicare Prescription Drug Policy?

Medicare prescription drug policies help Medicare beneficiaries pay for prescriptions prescribed by a doctor. This coverage is available to anyone entitled to Medicare, whether they are enrolled in Original Medicare or in a Medicare Advantage policy. While prescription drug coverage is optional, you can use your monthly premium to pay late entry penalties if you do not enroll as soon as you are eligible, unless you have a credit rating from another source, such as an employer’s policy coverage.

How do Medicare prescription drug policies work?

Medicare Part D prescription insurance is offered by private insurance companies approved by Medicare. You must register through the policy and pay the premiums required to obtain coverage.

There are 2 types of prescription drug policies:

A separate Medicare Part D prescription drug policy that works together with your Part A and/or Medicare Part B coverage

A Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Policy: Medicare Advantage gives you the option to receive your Part A and B benefits through a private insurance company recognized by Medicare. Palliative care services are still covered in Part A. Many Medicare Advantage policies include prescription drug coverage.

Each Medicare prescription drug policy usually uses a medication formulation to determine which drugs are covered and how much you pay for each drug. The medication formulation will also list the specific requirements and cost containment measures that apply to medications prescribed by your doctor. For example, the formulation of the drug may require prior approval before your policy pays for your drugs, or there may be a limit on the number of drugs you can receive at the same time. A form may change at any time, but the policy must notify you in writing if that is the case.

How many Medicare prescription drug policies can I have?

Medicare has very specific guidelines regarding prescription drug coverage. While you are not required to buy a policy, you can expect a late entry penalty if you do not receive prescription drugs for a period of time and then choose not to participate. You can only have one type of the different Medicare Prescription Drug Policies. For example:

If you have a prescription drug policy through a union or employer policy and enroll in Medicare Part D for prescription drugs, you may lose your employer-sponsored policy.  If you have Medicare Advantage with Part D for prescription drugs and you enroll in a separate prescription drug policy of Medicare, you might be removed from your Medicare Advantage policy and switched automatically to Original Medicare.

If you have a prescription drug policy from the Medicare supplement and opt for a separate Medicare Part D prescription drug policy, your Medigap policy must eliminate prescription drug coverage and adjust your premium. Keep in mind that complementary Medicare policies that cover prescription drug coverage are no longer sold. However, if you have purchased a policy in the past that contains this coverage, you can maintain it.  However, review your policy materials, as some Medigap medications for prescription drugs are not considered eligible under the Medicare prescription drug rules.