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What is Medicare?

Medicare Part D plans: prescription drugs

You are eligible to enroll in a Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage plan if you have Medicare Part A and/or Medicare Part B. You may enroll directly with your plan of choice. You also can call Medicare toll free 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) (toll free) or 1-877-486-2048 (toll-free TTY for the hearing/speech impaired) to enroll in a prescription drug plan.

In general, there are 2 ways to get Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage.

  • Medicare Advantage plans or Medicare Cost plans: HMO, PPO, or other plans that include Medicare Part D in the cost of their premiums
  • Medicare prescription drug plans (PDP): stand-alone plans that add drug coverage to Original Medicare (Parts A and B)

Some plans, like Kaiser Permanente Senior Advantage (HMO) and Kaiser Permanente Medicare Plus (Cost), offer prescription drug coverage under 1 plan.

Medicare prescription drug plans (PDPs)

These stand-alone plans only offer prescription drug coverage and are an option if you choose Original Medicare or a Medicare health plan that does not include Part D prescription drug coverage. If you are already enrolled in a Medicare health plan with Part D coverage and you join a PDP, you may be disenrolled from your Medicare health plan coverage.

What will I pay for Medicare Part D?

Medicare Part D cost and coverage vary by plan.

If you are on a limited income, you may qualify for the low-income subsidy program, or LIS. This program may help you with the cost of Medicare Part D premiums, deductibles, and copays.

For more information

See our sections on Medicare eligibility and enrollment. You can join, change, or drop a Medicare Part D plan only during certain times of the year or based on certain limited special circumstances, and you only can be enrolled in 1 prescription drug plan at a time.

You also can visit the Medicare website† or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) (toll free) or 1-877-486-2048 (toll-free TTY for the hearing/speech impaired), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Or visit your local Social Security office, or call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (toll free) or 1-800-325-0778 (toll-free TTY for the hearing/speech impaired), Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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