What is Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D) ?
Medicare Part D, also known as the Medicare prescription drug benefit, is a program that provides prescription drug coverage to people with Medicare. They are offered by private insurance companies that are approved by Medicare.
These plans (sometimes called "PDPs") add drug coverage to Original Medicare, some Medicare Cost Plans, some Medicare Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) Plans, and Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA) Plans.
How do Prescription Drug Plans work?
Medicare Part D plans typically have a monthly premium, deductible, and copayments or coinsurance for covered medications. The specifics of each plan vary, by having its own list of covered drugs (called a formulary list). Medicare drug plans place drugs into different "tiers" on their formularies, so drugs in each tier have a diffrent cost. It's important to compare plan details to find the one that best fits your needs and budget annually, as the formulary list, drug tiers, and premium are subject to change.
There are several ways to enroll in a Medicare Part D plan. You can enroll during your initial enrollment period when you first become eligible for Medicare, during the annual open enrollment period, or during a special enrollment period if you experience a qualifying event.
A Medicare drug plan can make some changes to its formulary during the year within guidelines set by Medicare, and in most cases you will have to wait until the Annual Enrollment Period to enroll in a different plan.
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