Medicare Part D offers Medicare prescription drug plan coverage. This Medicare prescription drug plan may help lower prescription drug costs and help protect against higher costs in the future. It can give you greater access to drugs that you can use to prevent complications of diseases.
Medicare Part D is optional, so if you join a Medicare Part D / Medicare prescription drug plan, you usually pay a monthly premium. If you decide not to enroll in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan when you are first eligible, you may pay a penalty if you choose to join later. These Medicare Part D plans are run by insurance companies and other private companies approved by Medicare.
There are two ways to get Medicare Part D / Medicare prescription drug plan coverage. First, you can join a Medicare Part D plan that adds drug coverage to your Medicare Part A and B coverage. Or, you can join a Medicare Part C plan that includes Medicare Part D / Medicare prescription drug coverage as part of the plan. Therefore, you get all of your Medicare coverage through these plans, including prescription drugs.
After you have joined the Medicare Part D prescription drug plan of your choice, the plan will mail you membership materials including a Medicare Part D plan member card you use when you get your prescriptions filled. When you use the card, you will pay the copayment, coinsurance, and/or deductible, if any. In Medicare Part C / Medicare Advantage Plans that include Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage, your health care and drug usage is coordinated, with an emphasis on preventive care to keep you healthy.