Prescription Drug Plans:

Prescription Drug Coverage was enacted as part of the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 and went into effect on January 1, 2006. This coverage can be purchased only from Medicare approved private insurance companies.

You are eligible for prescription drug coverage under a Part D plan if you are entitled to benefits under Medicare Part A and/or enrolled in Part B. Beneficiaries can obtain the Part D drug benefit through two types of Medicare approved private plans: they can join a stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan for drug coverage only or they can join a Medicare Advantage plan that covers both medical services and prescription drugs.

If you don’t sign up when eligible for Medicare Part D, you will have to pay a significant penalty every month, along with your Part D premium. You will pay this penalty as long as you have Medicare Part D. You may not have to pay the penalty if you are low income or if you had other drug coverage through your job, your spouse's job, retiree coverage, or the Veterans Administration.