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.
If you are considering Medicare Advantage, most private insurance companies contracted by Medicare already provide Medicare Part D coverage within their plans. The cost and availability may vary from one insurance company to another and from one location to another.