If you are eligible for Original Medicare Medical Insurance, you are also eligible to get Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage. When you are first eligible for Medicare, if you don’t buy a Medicare Part D plan, or don’t already have prescription drug coverage, you may be responsible for paying a late enrollment penalty. However, you may be eligible for extra help under a low-income subsidy program to get help from Medicare to pay for prescription drug costs. If your income is no higher than $16,755 a year, or $22,695 for a married couple, and have resources of up to $13,370 or $26,120 for a married couple, you may qualify for assistance.

There are two different ways to get Medicare Part D coverage. Some of the prescription drug plans have drug coverage under their Original Medicare, Medicare Private Fee-For-Service Plans, Medicare Cost Plans, and Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans. These plans, and Medicare Advantage Plans offer Part A, Part B, and prescription drug coverage. To join Medicare Advantage, you must already have this coverage. You can get prescription drug coverage when you first join Medicare. This is the initial enrollment period. Yearly enrollment periods may also apply so that you can enroll at certain times. Another way to get prescription drug coverage is during special enrollment periods.


When you find the prescription drug plan that you want to join, you may enroll on the plan’s website. A paper application may be completed. You may also be able to enroll by calling the plan you want or by calling Medicare. You are requested to give your Medicare number when enrolling for prescription drug coverage. When you enroll for a prescription drug plan and are already enrolled in Medicare Advantage, you will be disenrolled from Medicare Advantage in placed back in Original Medicare.

Medicare Supplemental Insurance drug plans allow you to switch from one plan to another during one of the enrollment periods. You don’t have to cancel the current Medicare drug plan. The current plan stops as soon as you enroll in the new plan. You can stop your prescription drug plan during one of the enrollment periods by either calling the number on your card or notifying them in writing. This applies if you don’t want to enroll in another plan. For Medicare drug coverage, you will pay whatever the annual deductible is. If there are co-payments, you are responsible for those. You are also responsible for extra help costs, late enrollment, and costs associated with a coverage gap.