Part D

I am covered by Medicare, but I don’t take any medications. Do I need to sign up for a drug plan?

Even if you aren’t taking any medications right now, it might make sense to enroll in a drug plan so that you have coverage in case your needs change in the future. If you don’t have coverage and the Medicare Open Enrollment period has ended, you won’t be able to sign up for coverage until the next Medicare Open Enrollment period begins, and your coverage wouldn’t take effect until January 1 of the following year. This could put you at risk of paying a lot out of pocket for prescriptions if your needs change. Also be aware that there is a late enrollment penalty for Part D. If you don’t sign up for a Part D plan when you are first eligible to do so, and you decide later you want to sign up, you will be required to pay a late enrollment penalty equal to 1% of the national average premium amount for every month you didn’t have coverage as good as the standard Part D benefit.


While we have made every effort to provide accurate information in these FAQs, people should contact the health insurance Marketplace or Medicaid agency in their state for guidance on their specific circumstances.

KFF Headquarters: 185 Berry St., Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94107 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270 | Email Alerts: | |

The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.