Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Part D)

In 2006 Medicare added a prescription drug benefit called Medicare Part D. Medicare contracts with private companies to offer prescription drug plans.  You must have Part A and/or Part B to join a Medicare Part D drug plan.

There are two ways to get this coverage:

1. Join a Medicare Drug Plan. These plans add drug coverage to:

  • Original Medicare; or
  • A Medicare Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) plan that does not offer prescription drug coverage, or
  • A Medicare Cost Plan if it doesn’t offer Medicare prescription drug coverage.

2. Join a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO) that offers drug coverage along with medical benefits.

  • Remember you must have Part A and Part B to join a Medicare Advantage Plan.
  • You must live in the plan’s service area. .

Find more information about Part D in our Medicare Drug Coverage (Part D): How Does it Work? guide.