For Consumers

What does Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D) cost and cover?

Sign up for Medicare information

 Important: Part D is optional. You get it by signing up with a private insurance company.

If you enroll in a Medicare Part C (also called Medicare Advantage) plan that includes prescription drug coverage, don’t also enroll in a Part D plan, because you’ll lose your Part C plan.

What does it cost?

Part D requires a monthly premium for most people. The average premium is about $33 per month. You may also have copays and out-of-pocket costs.

Need help paying for prescription drugs?

What does it cover?

  • Your prescription drugs.
  • If you have a Part C plan, it may already include prescription drug coverage.
  • To find out which plans cover your drugs, go to the Plan Finder. Enter your ZIP code and your prescription drugs.

If you already have drug coverage that’s as good as Part D, you won’t have any penalty if you decide to enroll in Part D later.

If you’re covered by employer or retiree insurance and enroll in Part D, you risk permanently losing your coverage. Check with your current plan administrator before you make any decisions.

  Important: If you don't have drug coverage, avoid lifelong penalties by enrolling in a Part D plan or a Part C plan with drug coverage during your Initial Enrollment Period. Even if you don’t have prescribed medications now, enrolling may save you money in the long run. If you suddenly need prescriptions, you might have to wait to sign up for coverage and you'll probably pay more.