Prescription drugs

The high cost of prescription drugs can be a concern for anyone, but Medicare recipients generally spend more money on medications than others. Medicare Part A, Part B, and Medigap don’t include drug coverage, so it’s important to consider prescription drug coverage when you are first eligible for Medicare.

Some people who are relatively healthy and don’t rely on medications when they qualify for Medicare consider skipping drug coverage. But, consider this. If you develop an illness or chronic condition that requires regular medication, your out-of-pocket costs could be very high. Plus, if you don’t enroll for Part D when you are first eligible for Medicare, you’ll likely have to pay late enrollment fees when you sign up later.

Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs)

If you are getting your Part A and Part B benefits through Original Medicare, you can enroll in a stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan (PDP). PDPs are sold by private insurance companies, so costs and coverage may vary. Each plan has its own formulary, or list of covered drugs, and can determine its own pricing. Pricing may vary based on whether you get generic or brand-name medications, if you use mail order prescriptions, and what pharmacy you use.

Medicare Advantage with prescription drug coverage (MA-PDs)

Medicare Advantage plans offer an alternative to Original Medicare. They are required to provide the same Part A and Part B benefits as Original Medicare, but many include Part D prescription drug coverage. As in the case of stand-alone drug plans, MA-PDs will have their own formularies and levels of pricing.

Comparing plans

Before you enroll in a Prescription Drug Plan or Medicare Advantage plan with prescription drug coverage, compare the formularies carefully. Make sure the plan you choose includes any current medication you take at the dosage you are prescribed.

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“I’m Mary-Beth*. I can carefully walk you through our step-by-step process to help you find a plan that meets your needs.”

Find a plan* Mary-Beth is a digital avatar and not a licensed sales agent.

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I wish I’d known this before I bought my plan…

Helpful things callers learn from our sales agents

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There can be penalties if you don’t sign up for Medicare Part B when you’re first eligible to enroll.

Andrew Sivatjian
V.P. of Medicare Sales & Licensed Agent
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Some people think they’re stuck with the first plan they choose. They’re not. They can change to a new plan during the enrollment periods.

Silvia Barrera
Sales Manager & Licensed Agent
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I often explain to callers who are concerned about the cost of prescription drugs, that there are specific plans that can help reduce how much they have to pay.

Mark Laemmert
Medicare Site Leader & Licensed Agent