Summary: What is Medicare: Part D? What does it cover? What does it not cover? What are the costs?

What is Medicare: Part D?

What is Medicare: Part D?

Medicare is defined according to (the official site for Medicare) as “the federal health insurance program for people who are age 65 or older, certain younger people with disabilities, and people with End-Stage Renal Failure (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant, sometimes called ERSD)”.

This article is part of a series of articles:

  1. Medicare Overview
  2. Medicare Part A
  3. Medicare Part B
  4. Medicare Part C
  5. Medicare Part D
  6. Medicare Part E? Medicare Supplements

What does Medicare Part D cover?

Each Medicare Part D plan has its own lists of covered drugs. The drug plan must require prior authorization, specify quantity limits, and follow step therapy (trying lower cost drugs before the plan will cover prescribed drugs.

What are the costs of Part D?

Costs will vary by plan and include the following components:

  1. Monthly premium
  2. Yearly deductible
  3. Copayments or coinsurance
  4. Costs in the coverage gap
  5. Costs if you get extra help
  6. Costs if you pay a late enrollment penalty

Costs will also vary based upon:

  1. The drugs you use
  2. The plan you choose
  3. Whether you go to a pharmacy in the network
  4. Whether the drugs are on the formulary
  5. Whether you get extra help paying Medicare Part D costs

Open Enrollment

Don’t forget open enrollment for Medicare is October 15-December 7, 2012. This is your time to make any changes to your Medicare plans as well as enroll in additional plans.


We invite all comments in regard to this article. What are your thoughts on Medicare? What are your thoughts on the Affordable Care Act and Medicare?  Do you think the system is working? Do you think Medicare should be regulated and administered at the individual state level? How will the healthcare insurance exchanges impact Medicare?

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