1. Join a Medicare drug plan when you're first eligible.
You won't have to pay a penalty, even if you've never had prescription drug coverage before.
2. Don't go 63 days or more in a row without a Medicare drug plan or other creditable drug coverage.
could include drug coverage from a current or former employer or union, TRICARE, Indian Health Service, the Department of Veterans Affairs, or health insurance coverage. Your plan must tell you each year if your drug coverage is creditable coverage. They may send you this information in a letter, or draw your attention to it in a newsletter or other piece of correspondence. Keep this information because you may need it if you join a Medicare drug plan later.
3. Keep records showing when you had creditable drug coverage, and tell your plan about it.
When you join a Medicare drug plan, the plan will check to see if you had creditable drug coverage for 63 days or more in a row. If the plan believes you didn't, it will send you a letter with a form asking about any drug coverage you had. Complete the form and return it to your drug plan by the deadline in the letter. If you don't tell the plan about your creditable drug coverage, you may have to pay a penalty.