As an eligible Medicare beneficiary, you must select a drug plan and pay a monthly premium to receive the coverage, known as Medicare Part D. Drug plans vary by state and may offer extra benefits such as no deductible, higher coverage limits or cover additional drugs.

Medicare Part D provides insurance coverage for prescription medications and is an important part of Medicare to consider if you’re eligible. It helps cover the “donut hole” opening you may have with traditional Medicare plans. You might need coverage for cholesterol and high blood pressure prescriptions—this is where Medicare Part D comes in.

Under this particular program, insurance companies, and other private firms contract with Medicare to provide prescription drug benefits to Medicare beneficiaries like you.

How do you get a plan? You first must join a plan run by an insurance company or other private company approved by Medicare. Each plan can vary in cost and drugs covered. When choosing Part D coverage, there are a multitude of factors to consider:

− Timing of enrollment.
− Potential of penalties incurred for late enrollment.
− The option to change plans.
− Current prescription coverage.
− Medication coverage.
− Out-of-pocket costs.
− Pharmacy convenience.
− Future health changes.

Watch the interview on the basics of Medicare with Curt Chojnowski, Principal at Executive Benefits Group and Medicare specialist. Curt has more than 20 years of experience in the industry and focuses on the ins and outs of Medicare coverage.

If you already have prescription drug coverage, compare your current coverage with that provided through a Medicare plan. You want the most effective and efficient plan available, because as a senior, you need to keep as many dollars in your pocket as possible.

The process of making decisions concerning health care insurance can be overwhelming and cause you confusion because of the plethora of providers and variances from state to state. It’s imperative to seek the help of a financial or insurance professional to ensure you’re on the right track for your situation and to maximize your retirement income dollars.

National syndicated financial columnist Steve Savant interviews Curt Chojnowski on the basics of Medicare and the strategies available to seniors. Right on the Money is a weekly talk interview talk show for consumers. The show segments are distributed nationally as daily video press releases.