Medicare Prescription Drug plans, often referred to as Part D, are provided and coordinated by private insurance companies contracted with Medicare. These plans provide coverage for prescription medications, which generally are not covered by Original Medicare or Medigap plans. Any beneficiary can sign-up for Medicare Part D as long as they are eligible for Original Medicare, Part A and/or Part B and permanently reside in the service area of a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. Medicare Prescription Drug coverage is optional, but if you don’t enroll in Part D as soon as you’re eligible, you might pay a late-enrollment penalty if you enroll later.
You can get Medicare Part D coverage through a stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug Plan or with a Medicare Advantage plan. A stand alone plan works alongside your Original Medicare coverage. Medicare Advantage plans can also include prescription drug coverage, also known as a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plan.
Monthly plan premiums and out-of-pocket expenses for prescription drugs will vary from plan to plan. Each medication covered by a Medicare Prescription Drug plan has a set cost in the form of a co-pay or coinsurance according to a tiered system, known as a formulary. Every Medicare Prescription Drug plan has a formulary for your reference, allowing you to pick the plan with the lowest cost for your prescription needs.
For more information about Medicare Prescription Drug plans, click here.