also called the Medicare prescription drug benefit, is a United States federal-government program to subsidize the costs of prescription drugs and prescription drug insurance premiums for Medicare beneficiaries. Medicare offers prescription drug coverage to everyone with Medicare.
To get Medicare drug coverage, you must join a plan run by an insurance company or other private company approved by Medicare. Each plan can vary in cost and drugs covered. Medicare beneficiaries who were eligible for but did not enroll in a Part D when they were first eligible and later want to enroll, pay a late-enrollment penalty, basically a premium surtax, if they did not have creditable coverage through another source such as an employer or the U.S. Veterans Administration.
Each Medicare drug plan has its own list of covered drugs (called a formulary). Many Medicare drug plans place drugs into different "tiers" on their formularies. A drug in a lower tier will generally cost you less than a drug in a higher tier. One option for those struggling with drug costs is the low-income subsidy. Beneficiaries with income below 150% poverty are eligible for the low-income subsidy, which helps pay for all or part of the monthly premium, annual deductible, and drug co-payments. Most Medicare Prescription Drug Plans charge a monthly fee that varies by plan. You pay this in addition to the Medicare Part B premium.