Sign up for AARP's twice-monthly Your Health newsletter for the latest on the coronavirus pandemic and more.
En español l Medicare has an optional program — called Medicare Part D — that provides insurance to help you pay for prescription drugs. If you select to have the coverage, you pay a monthly premium. This guide explains how the program works and helps you make decisions in choosing a plan that's right for you.
Anyone who has Medicare Part A or Part B (or both) can get Part D coverage regardless of income or health.
You are not obligated to enroll, but there may be consequences (such as permanent late penalties and delayed coverage) if you don't sign up when you are first eligible to do so.
To get Medicare drug coverage, you must select one approved private drug plan among many offering different choices. There is no single government plan.
Is your income limited? If you qualify for a part of the program known as "Extra Help." you'll pay very little for your medications.
Are your drug costs very high? You'll pay no more than 5 percent of the cost of each prescription after you've spent a certain amount of money out-of-pocket in any one year.
Do you have better drug coverage already? You probably won't need Medicare's Part D coverage. But it's wise to check.
Start Getting Your Member Benefits Today!
Get the Most From Your Membership
Continue Enjoying Your Member Benefits!
Before deciding whether to sign up for Medicare drug coverage, you need to understand how the program works as a whole.
If you have a limited income you may qualify for Medicare's "Extra Help" coverage.
Medicare Part D provides coverage up to a certain level each year. After that, there's a gap known as the "doughnut hole."
Don’t dismiss Medicare drug benefits out of hand — even if you have good coverage or don’t take any prescription drugs
Compare what's available to find the plan that's best for you.
Once you’ve chosen a Part D plan, it’s easy to sign up. But make sure the plan you're buying really is the plan you want.
If you can't find the Part D answer you're looking for in this guide, ask Ms. Medicare by emailing your query to email@example.com. Be sure to include your name, age, state and ZIP code. Your name will not be published.
Defining Part D's words, phrases and jargon.
Sources of information and assistance.
Free chapter from AARP’s book by Dr. Sanjay Gupta
Members save 15% on medical alert service.
WW will help you build a customized weight loss plan
AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
You'll start receiving the latest news, benefits, events, and programs related to AARP's mission to empower people to choose how they live as they age.
You can also manage your communication preferences by updating your account at anytime. You will be asked to register or log in.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at