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Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Coverage

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Adding Prescription Drug Coverage to Original Medicare

Medicare Part D is an optional choice for those enrolled in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). Part D provides prescription drug benefits and acts as an additional coverage option. It’s not automatically included with Part A and Part B.

Medicare prescription drug coverage can be obtained through a stand-alone Medicare Part D Plan or through a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C) that includes prescription drug coverage. A stand-alone prescription drug plan will work along with Original Medicare, while a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan will provide a single plan including prescription drug coverage.

Private insurance companies contracted by Medicare provide Medicare Part D coverage. The cost and availability may vary from one insurance company to another and from one location to another.

Eligibility Requirements for Medicare Part D

You will become eligible to enroll in a Medicare Part D plan if you’ve enrolled in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) and you live in the service area of the prescription drug plan chosen.

When to Enroll in Medicare Part D

Once you’ve determined you’re eligible for a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan or Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan, you’ll be able to enroll at specific times including:

  • Initial Enrollment Period for Part D (IEP for Part D) – Started three months before you turn 65 and ends three months after you turn 65 including your birthday month for a total of seven months.
  • Annual Election Period – Runs from October 15th to December 7th each year
  • Special Needs Plans (SNPs)
  • Special Election Period – Available in some circumstances, such as moving outside your current plan’s service area, moving into a nursing home, or losing your Medicaid eligibility.
  • Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period – January 1st to February 14th.

While you can enroll in Medicare Part D outside of these timeframes, you will have to pay a late-enrollment penalty.

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GoMedicare.com is privately owned and operated by GoHealth, LLC. GoMedicare.com is a non-government resource for those who depend on Medicare, providing Medicare information in a simple and straightforward way.

If you’re looking for the government’s Medicare site, please navigate to www.medicare.gov.

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