Part D (Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage) helps cover cost of prescription drugs, may lower your costs and protect against higher costs.

Medicare prescription drug coverage is an optional benefit offered to everyone who has Medicare. This page explains how to get prescription drug coverage and offers tips for making the right choices for you.

If you decide not to get Medicare drug coverage when you’re first eligible, you’ll likely pay a late enrollment penalty if you join later, unless one of these applies:

Generally, you’ll pay this penalty for as long as you have Medicare prescription drug coverage.

To get Medicare drug coverage, you must join a Medicare plan that offers prescription drug coverage. Each plan can vary in cost and drugs covered.

Consider all your drug coverage choices

Before you make a decision, learn how prescription drug coverage works with your other drug coverage. For example, you may have drug coverage from an employer or union, TRICARE, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Indian Health Service, or a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy. Compare your current coverage to Medicare drug coverage. The drug coverage you already have may change because of Medicare drug coverage, so consider all your coverage options.

If you have (or are eligible for) other types of drug coverage, read all the materials you get from your insurer or plan provider. Talk to your benefits administrator, insurer, or plan provider before you make any changes to your current coverage.

Joining a Medicare drug plan may affect your Medicare Advantage Plan

Your Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) will disenroll you and you’ll go back to Original Medicare if both of these apply:

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