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Tell me about Medicare

Medicare Part D

Prescription drugs

Medicare Part D plans are meant to help you get covered for prescription drugs. You’re allowed to sign up for a Part D plan if you have Medicare Part A and/or Medicare Part B.

In general, there are 2 ways to get Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage: Medicare Advantage Plans (or the alternative Medicare Cost plans), and Medicare prescription drug plans. We’ll explain each option below.

Medicare Advantage plans or Medicare Cost plans

These plans cover a full range of health benefits and may include Part D as part of the package. They can be HMOs, PPOs, or other types of health plans. Some examples that we offer include Kaiser Permanente Senior Advantage (HMO) and Kaiser Permanente Medicare Plus (Cost).

Medicare prescription drug plans (PDPs)

Medicare PDPs are stand-alone plans that offer prescription drug coverage only. Once you buy a PDP, you can add its drug coverage to your Original Medicare (Parts A and B) or a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Cost plan without Part D drug coverage.

How do I sign up for Medicare D?

You can sign up directly with your plan of choice, or contact Medicare. Their toll free number will allow you to sign up 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Just call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or 1-877-486-2048 (TTY for the hearing/speech impaired).

Please note:

  • You can only join, change, or drop a Medicare Part D plan during certain times of year, or under certain special circumstances.
  • You can only have 1 prescription drug plan at a time.
  • If you already have a Medicare health plan with Part D coverage, joining a PDP could make you lose your current Medicare health plan coverage.

Contact Medicare or your insurer to make sure you understand your restrictions.

What will I pay for Medicare Part D?

The cost and coverage of Medicare Part D depends on which plan you choose.

If you’re on a limited income, you may qualify for Extra Help from Medicare also called the low-income subsidy program (LIS). This program may help you with the cost of Part D premiums, deductibles, and copays.

Helpful Resources

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