Health insurance coverage is important at any age, but average Americans largest health costs come after attaining the age of 65.
At age 65 we need to enroll in the Medicare health insurance system. We have several choices to make at that time. We can get a Medicare Advantage plan that takes over for Medicare and can provide a total package for healthcare insurance purposes. Medicare Supplemental plans use Medicare for some coverage, but add coverage above the basic. Your Union or other retiree health plan might add coverage/reduce your cost.
Part D is strictly for prescription drug coverage, which is not part of basic Medicare or Supplemental plan coverage. You should at least consider a very basic Part D plan at 65 in order not to be penalized when you decide to pay for it later in life. The penalty is one percent per month of the average Medicare Part D rate (around $30 per month) that you wait until you begin to pay for coverage. Ten months would mean 10%, or about $3 per month would be added to your bill for part D when you sign up for it later.
It is good to review your Medicare insurance each year during the special enrollment period. This is especially important for Part D coverage as the premium, and the costs and insurance coverage for various drugs can vary widely. There are programs in every state called SHIPs (State Health Insurance Counseling and Assistance Programs) that have volunteers to help seniors, with the help of special online software, to choose from possibly dozens of health insurance company policies in order to get the best coverage depending on which drugs they are buying.