Creditable Benefit Plans
Medicare beneficiaries can receive subsidized prescription drug coverage through the Medicare Part D program.
Beneficiaries who choose not to sign up at the first opportunity may have to pay more if they wait to enter the program later after the open enrollment period.
Beneficiaries who have other sources of drug coverage - through a current or former employer or union, for example - may stay in that plan and choose not to enroll in the Medicare drug plan. If their other coverage is at least as good as the Medicare drug benefit (and therefore considered "creditable coverage"), then the beneficiary can continue to get the high-quality care they have now as well as avoid higher payments if they sign up later for the Medicare drug benefit.