People With Medicare
Step 4: Decide if you need Medicare Part D, Prescription Drug Coverage.
Medicare can cover part of your prescription drug costs. To get this coverage, you must join a private plan that Medicare has approved. Each drug plan decides which drugs it will cover, so it is important to pick the right plan for you and the drugs you are currently taking.
Medicare offers two general types of drug plans:
- People who have Original Medicare can join "stand alone" Medicare drug plans. These plans are sometimes called Prescription Drug Plans, or PDPs. These plans only cover prescription drugs.
- The other kind of drug plan is called MA-PD, or Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan. Most people who join Medicare Advantage plans must get their Medicare drug coverage through these plans.
How you get your Medicare, through Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan, will determine the type of drug plan you can join. This is why you must first decide how you want to get your Medicare.
You can get personal help reviewing the different drug plans.
What if I already have drug coverage?
You may wait to get a Medicare drug plan if:
- You have drug coverage through certain other kinds of health insurance, such as through your job or your spouse's job, AND
- That plan covers prescription drugs.
If you have other drug coverage, the company that gives you that coverage must tell you often if you need to join a Medicare drug plan OR if you can keep your current drug coverage. They must tell you:
- When you first become eligible for Medicare AND
- Each year after that.
If you do not have drug coverage, you should join a Medicare drug plan as soon as you can. If you do not have other coverage and decide to wait, you will likely pay a Part D penalty if you join later. And, you will have to pay these higher prices every month for as long as you have Medicare.
For more information on drug coverage, learn more about the Part D benefit.
If I need a Medicare drug plan, how do I sign up?
Use our 7 Simple Steps to choose the plan that best fits your needs. Then sign up.
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