Prescription Drug Plans

How to get drug coverage

Medicare prescription drug coverage is an optional benefit.  Medicare offers prescription drug coverage to everyone with Medicare. If you decide not to get Medicare drug coverage when you're first eligible, you'll likely pay a late enrollment penalty if you join later, unless one of these applies:

Generally, you'll pay this penalty for as long as you have Medicare prescription drug coverage.

To get Medicare drug coverage, you must join a plan approved by Medicare that offers Medicare drug coverage. Each plan can vary in cost and drugs covered.

2 ways to get drug coverage


  1. Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D)

    . 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.

  2. Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C)

     (like an HMO or PPO) or other 

    Medicare health plan

     that offers Medicare prescription drug coverage. You get all of your 

    Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance)


    Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance)

     coverage, and prescription drug coverage (Part D), through these plans. Medicare Advantage Plans with prescription drug coverage are sometimes called “MA-PDs.” You must have Part A and Part B to join a Medicare Advantage Plan.

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