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Prescription Drug Coverage = Part D

Medicare Part D helps cover your cost for prescription drugs if you have Original Medicare.


Part D plans are managed by private Medicare-approved insurers.  You must enroll in a in a private plan to receive Part D services. Part D covered drugs generally:

  • Vary from plan to plan
  • Include commonly used brand-name and generic drugs
  • Don't include over-the-counter medicines

A Part D drug plan can be added to your Medicare benefits as a stand-alone plan if you've chosen Original Medicare or are planning to choose it.  A cost-effective way to buy Part D drug benefits is getting them through a Medicare Advantage plan with hospital and medical coverage, known as Medicare Part C, described in the next section.


Most Medicare drug plans have a coverage gap.  After you and the plan spend a certain amount on prescriptions, coverage stops.  At that point, you're responsible for paying a large share of future prescription costs for the calendar year, until you reach a predetermined amount.  If you exceed the coverage gap for your Medicare drug plan, you'll be able to purchase brand-name and generic drugs at a discounted price.


Higher-income Medicare recipients pay a monthly income-related premium for Part D benefits.  In addition to the Part D federal government premium cost, you may have a monthly premium charged by the Part D private insurer.  Other costs may include an annual deductible and coinsurance of copayments


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