Medicare Prescription Drug Plans

Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, also known as Part D, are policies you can buy from a private health insurance company to help pay your share of prescription drug costs.

What are Medicare Prescription Drug Plans?

Medicare Prescription Drug Plans are designed to cover the cost of prescription drugs. You must have Original Medicare – Part A (Hospital Insurance) and/or Part B (Medical Insurance) – to buy a Part D policy.

Benefits of Medicare Prescription Drug Plans

Medicare Prescription Drug Plans help pay for the prescription drugs you need. It’s optional and offered to everyone with Medicare. Even if you don’t take prescription drugs now, consider getting Medicare drug coverage.

Types of Medicare Prescription Drug Plans

There are two ways to get Medicare drug coverage:

  1. Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D): These plans add drug coverage to Original Medicare, some Medicare Cost Plans, some Private Fee‑for‑Service plans, and Medical Savings Account plans.
  2. Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) or other Medicare health plan with drug coverage: You get all of your Part A, Part B, and drug coverage, through these plans.

Each type offers different benefits and costs, and availability can vary by location.

Considerations Before Buying a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan

Before buying a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, it’s important to understand the potential implications. For instance, if you decide not to get it when you’re first eligible, and you don’t have other creditable prescription drug coverage (like drug coverage from an employer or union) or get Extra Help, you’ll likely pay a late enrollment penalty if you join a plan later.

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