Woman looking at laptop weighing her medicare options.

Medicare prescription drug coverage options

Get the prescription drug coverage you need

Prescription drugs are a vital need for many Medicare beneficiaries. But they're not covered by Original Medicare.

To get coverage for prescription drugs, you have two options:


Enroll in Part D, a supplemental Medicare prescription drug plan

Part D adds drug coverage to Original Medicare and is offered through Medicare-approved private insurance companies, not the federal government.


Enroll in Part C, a Medicare Advantage plan

This type of plan, offered as an alternative to carrying Original Medicare plus a supplement, provides a "bundle" of insurance coverage — taking the worry out of which individual plans to choose.

Please note that Part D does have costs associated with it, which you would be responsible for paying.

Watch out for penalties

If you have Medicare but not Medicare prescription drug coverage, you could be fined a late enrollment penalty after your initial enrollment period ends.

The late enrollment penalty is calculated by multiplying 1% of the national base premium ($32.74 in 2020) by the number of full, uncovered months you didn't have Part D or creditable coverage. The monthly premium is rounded to the nearest $0.10 and added to your monthly Part D plan premium.

It's important to know that the national base premium may increase each year, so your penalty amount may also increase.

You'll have to pay this penalty as long as you have a Medicare drug plan.

We're here to help

To learn more about prescription drug coverage under Medicare, attend an upcoming Medicare seminar or schedule a free one-on-one phone consultation with a Medicare specialist.

Medicare Part D

If you want to add prescription drug coverage to Parts A and B of Medicare, you will need to choose a Part D plan and pay a monthly premium.