Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D)

Beginning on January 1, 2006, new Medicare prescription drug coverage was available to everyone with Medicare. Everyone with Medicare can get this coverage that may help lower prescription drug costs and help protect against higher costs in the future. Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage is insurance. Private companies provide the coverage. You choose the drug plan and pay a monthly premium. Like other, insurance, if you decide not to enroll in a drug plan when you are first eligible, you may pay a penalty if you choose to join later.

There are two types of Medicare plans that provide insurance coverage for prescription drugs. There will be prescription drug coverage that is a part of Medicare Advantage plans and other Medicare health plans. You would get all of your Medicare prescription drug coverage that adds coverage to the original Medicare plan, and some Medicare private fee-for-service plans. Insurance companies will offer these plans and other private companies approved by Medicare

Like other insurance, if you join a plan offering Medicare drug coverage, there is a monthly premium. If you have limited income and resources, you may get extra help to cover prescription drugs for little or no cost (contact MAP for more details). The amount of the monthly premium is not affected by your health status or how many prescriptions you need. You will also pay a share of the cost of your prescriptions. All drug plans will have to provide coverage at least as good as the standard coverage, which Medicare has set.

Help us find Medicare beneficiaries who might qualify for extra help with their Medicare prescription drug plan costs. The Social Security Administration and Medicare are asking family members, caregivers and third parties to help anyone who might qualify apply for the extra help. If you know a Medicare beneficiary who might qualify or if you think you might qualify yourself, you can call our Senior Help Line at 1-800-763-2828 or visit to apply online.