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Medicare Advantage Part D?

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Medicare Part D Plan?

Find an Affordable Medicare Part D Plan that's right for you.

Prescription Drug Plans (Part D)

What Is Medicare Advantage Part D?

Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage, often referred to as Part D, is available from private insurers to anyone who is also eligible for Original Medicare and permanently resides in the service area of a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. Different insurers offer different types of plans, so your premium and out-of-pocket expenses for prescription drugs will vary. Medicare Part D is prescription drug coverage. You can get Medicare Part D coverage through a stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan or a Medicare Advantage prescription drug plan. Both are available from Medicare-approved private insurance companies. 

Medicare Part D coverage is optional, but if you don’t enroll in Medicare Part D as soon as you’re eligible, you might pay a late-enrollment penalty if you enroll later. Your monthly plan premium and out-of-pocket expenses for prescription drugs will vary from plan to plan.

What's Covered?

Medicare Part D covers your prescription drugs. Each private plan offered through Part D must provide a standard level of coverage set by Medicare. The requirements mean most plans have sizable formularies with the capability to prescribe medications for many illnesses. Private insurance carriers have control over the drugs they cover and the “tiers,” which affect the cost. Take a look at our Medicare Part D coverage guide for more information.

What else should you know about Medicare Part D prescription drug plans?

No matter what type of Medicare prescription drug plan you have, here are some things to keep in mind.

  •  If the plan has an annual deductible, you generally pay the full amount of your prescription drug purchases until the deductible is met.
  • After you satisfy the annual deductible, you will pay a share of the costs according to the terms of your plan. Your share, which you typically pay to the pharmacy at the time of pickup, could be a flat amount (copayment) or a percentage of the total amount (coinsurance). 
  • If you and your plan spend a combined $4,020 in 2020 (an amount called the initial coverage limit), you’ll enter a different Medicare Part D coverage phase. During this phase, you’ll pay no more than 25% of the cost for each covered prescription. The initial coverage limit may change from year to year.
  • Once you have paid a certain annual maximum amount out of your own pocket for covered prescription drugs, you automatically get “catastrophic coverage.” This means for the rest of that particular year, you would only pay a small copayment or coinsurance amount for prescription drugs. Medicare Part D catastrophic coverage begins when you’ve spent $6,350 in 2020. This amount may change from year to year.

Be sure to talk to your doctor to see if you are taking the lowest cost medications available to you. Specific coverage may vary from plan to plan, so read your documentation carefully.

Who’s Eligible for Part D Insurance?

You are eligible for a Medicare Part D plan if:

  • You are 65 years of age or older.
  • You have a qualifying disability for which you have been receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for more than 24 months.
  • You have been diagnosed with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring a kidney transplant or dialysis).
  • You are entitled to Medicare Part A or Part B. You should consider Part D if you enroll in Original Medicare and you:
  • Have a regular prescription drug need.
  • Will have a prescription drug need in the future.
  • Have trouble paying for your current prescription drug needs.
  • Do not have prescription drug coverage.
  • Want to avoid a penalty.

How Do I Enroll in Part D?

The Open Enrollment Period for Medicare and Part D is October 15 to December 7. If you don’t purchase a plan then, you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP).

New to Medicare and Part D?

If you’re preparing to enroll for the first time, the initial Medicare enrollment period is open for seven months. We think it’s easiest to explain initial enrollment when you slice it three ways:

  • You can enroll in the three months before your 65th birthday month. Coverage begins the first day of your birthday month.
  • You can enroll the month of your birthday. Coverage begins the first day of the month after your birthday.
  • You can enroll in the three months after your birthday month. Coverage begins the first day of the month after enrollment. For example: Let’s say you turn 65 on July 15. Your Initial Enrollment Period begins April 1 and ends October 31.

For example: Let’s say you turn 65 on July 15. Your Initial Enrollment Period begins April 1 and ends October 31.

What if the drug I need isn’t covered?

Each Part D plan has a formulary. Simply, it’s a list of the drugs covered. If the drug you need is not on a formulary, you can request an exception. You can contact the carrier to ask if your drug has a different name you don’t recognize. Part D offers at least two types of drugs in most categories, and is required by Medicare to cover all drugs in the six most essential categories.

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Prescription Drug Plans (Part D)

What Is Medicare Part D?

Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage, often referred to as Part D, is available from private insurers to anyone who is also eligible for Original Medicare and permanently resides in the service area of a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. Different insurers offer different types of plans, so your premium and out-of-pocket expenses for prescription drugs will vary.

Medicare Part D is prescription drug coverage. You can get Medicare Part D coverage through a stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan or a Medicare Advantage prescription drug plan. Both are available from Medicare-approved private insurance companies. 

Medicare Part D coverage is optional, but if you don’t enroll in Medicare Part D as soon as you’re eligible, you might pay a late-enrollment penalty if you enroll later. Your monthly plan premium and out-of-pocket expenses for prescription drugs will vary from plan to plan.

What's Covered?

Medicare Part D covers your prescription drugs. Each private plan offered through Part D must provide a standard level of coverage set by Medicare. The requirements mean most plans have sizable formularies with the capability to prescribe medications for many illnesses. Private insurance carriers have control over the drugs they cover and the “tiers,” which affect the cost. Take a look at our Medicare Part D coverage guide for more information.

What else should you know about Medicare Part D prescription drug plans?

No matter what type of Medicare prescription drug plan you have, here are some things to keep in mind.

  •  If the plan has an annual deductible, you generally pay the full amount of your prescription drug purchases until the deductible is met.
  • After you satisfy the annual deductible, you will pay a share of the costs according to the terms of your plan. Your share, which you typically pay to the pharmacy at the time of pickup, could be a flat amount (copayment) or a percentage of the total amount (coinsurance). 
  • If you and your plan spend a combined $4,020 in 2020 (an amount called the initial coverage limit), you’ll enter a different Medicare Part D coverage phase. During this phase, you’ll pay no more than 25% of the cost for each covered prescription. The initial coverage limit may change from year to year.
  • Once you have paid a certain annual maximum amount out of your own pocket for covered prescription drugs, you automatically get “catastrophic coverage.” This means for the rest of that particular year, you would only pay a small copayment or coinsurance amount for prescription drugs. Medicare Part D catastrophic coverage begins when you’ve spent $6,350 in 2020. This amount may change from year to year.

Be sure to talk to your doctor to see if you are taking the lowest cost medications available to you. Specific coverage may vary from plan to plan, so read your documentation carefully.

We're here to help you find an affordable

Insurance Plan

Who’s Eligible for Part D Insurance?

You are eligible for a Medicare Part D plan if:

  • You are 65 years of age or older.
  • You have a qualifying disability for which you have been receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for more than 24 months.
  • You have been diagnosed with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring a kidney transplant or dialysis).
  • You are entitled to Medicare Part A or Part B. You should consider Part D if you enroll in Original Medicare and you:
  • Have a regular prescription drug need.
  • Will have a prescription drug need in the future.
  • Have trouble paying for your current prescription drug needs.
  • Do not have prescription drug coverage.
  • Want to avoid a penalty.

How Do I Enroll in Part D?

The Open Enrollment Period for Medicare and Part D is October 15 to December 7. If you don’t purchase a plan then, you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP).

We're here to help you find an affordable

Insurance Plan

New to Medicare and Part D?

If you’re preparing to enroll for the first time, the initial Medicare enrollment period is open for seven months. We think it’s easiest to explain initial enrollment when you slice it three ways:

  • You can enroll in the three months before your 65th birthday month. Coverage begins the first day of your birthday month.
  • You can enroll the month of your birthday. Coverage begins the first day of the month after your birthday.
  • You can enroll in the three months after your birthday month. Coverage begins the first day of the month after enrollment. For example: Let’s say you turn 65 on July 15. Your Initial Enrollment Period begins April 1 and ends October 31.

For example: Let’s say you turn 65 on July 15. Your Initial Enrollment Period begins April 1 and ends October 31.

What if the drug I need isn’t covered?

Each Part D plan has a formulary. Simply, it’s a list of the drugs covered. If the drug you need is not on a formulary, you can request an exception. You can contact the carrier to ask if your drug has a different name you don’t recognize. Part D offers at least two types of drugs in most categories, and is required by Medicare to cover all drugs in the six most essential categories.

We're here to help you find an affordable

Insurance Plan

Find an Affordable Medicare Part D Plan that's right for you.

New to Medicare Enrollment Tips

What Is Medicare Part A?

Medicare Part A is hospital insurance. Part A covers inpatient hospital care, limited time in a skilled nursing care facility, limited home health care services, and hospice care.

Medicare Part A typically doesn’t cover the full amount of your hospital bill, so you will probably be responsible for a share in the cost. You will also have to pay a deductible before Medicare benefits begin. Medicare will then pay 100% of your costs for up to 60 days in a hospital or up to 20 days in a skilled nursing facility. After that, you pay a flat amount up to the maximum number of covered days. Your Medicare Part A benefits cover some of the costs for a total of 90 days in a hospital and 100 days in a skilled nursing facility. Medicare also covers up to 60 “lifetime reserve days.” These are days you stay in a hospital longer than 90 days in a row. You get a lifetime total of 60 reserve days.

Medicare Part A typically doesn’t cover the full amount of your hospital bill, so you will probably be responsible for a share in the cost. You will also have to pay a deductible before Medicare benefits begin. Medicare will then pay 100% of your costs for up to 60 days in a hospital or up to 20 days in a skilled nursing facility. After that, you pay a flat amount up to the maximum number of covered days. Your Medicare Part A benefits cover some of the costs for a total of 90 days in a hospital and 100 days in a skilled nursing facility. Medicare also covers up to 60 “lifetime reserve days.” These are days you stay in a hospital longer than 90 days in a row. You get a lifetime total of 60 reserve days.

Medicare Part B

Medicare Part B is medical insurance. Part B benefits cover certain non-hospital medical expenses like doctors’ office visits, blood tests, X-rays, diabetic screenings and supplies, and outpatient hospital care.

You pay a monthly premium for this part of Original Medicare. The fee can be higher for people with high incomes. A different government program, Medicaid, can help cover Medicare Part B premiums for low-income beneficiaries.

Medicare Part B beneficiaries are usually responsible for a portion of their health care costs. You’ll have to pay a small deductible each year before your Medicare Part B benefits kick in, and then you’ll generally pay 20% of the bill when you go to a participating Medicare doctor. Medicare pays the full cost of many lab tests and services requested by your doctor.

Medicare Part C

Medicare Part C, or Medicare Advantage, insurance often includes every type of Medicare coverage in one health plan. It’s offered by private insurance companies contracted through CMS to provide a Medicare benefits package as an alternative to Original Medicare. Medicare Advantage is optional, but to obtain this private insurance, you must also have Original Medicare, Part A and Part B. You also continue to pay your Part B premium if you have a Medicare Advantage plan. Browse Medicare Advantage plans

While Medicare Advantage plans are required to provide all Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B benefits (except hospice care), plans can also include different additional benefits, which vary among the individual private health insurers. Many Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage. Some plans might have a lower deductible, while also allowing you to pay a smaller share of the remaining costs. Medicare Advantage plans may even cover certain health care services that Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, does not cover, like eye exams, hearing aids, dental care, or health care received while traveling outside the United States.

Medicare Part D

Medicare Part D is optional prescription drug coverage. Medicare Part D is available as a stand-alone plan through private insurance companies, and the monthly fee varies among insurers. You will share in the costs of your prescription drugs according to the specific plan in which you’re enrolled. Those costs can include a deductible, a flat copayment amount, or a percentage of the full drug cost (called “coinsurance”).

Browse Medicare Part D plans If you want prescription drug coverage, you can get it through a Medicare Advantage plan if there’s one in your area that offers this coverage. You can use the simple form on this page and enter your zip code to view a list of Medicare Advantage plans in your area. If you have limited income and cannot afford your medications even though you receive Medicare Part D benefits, you may qualify for the Extra Help program, which offers financial assistance for your monthly premium, deductible, copayment, or coinsurance.

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