How Do You Get Medicare Drug Coverage?

There are two ways to get prescription drug coverage through the Medicare program.

You can either enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan (Medicare Part C) that includes drug coverage, or you can enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan (Medicare Part D).

Part C and Part D plans are provided by private health insurers and are regulated by the federal government.

Original Medicare (Parts A & B) does not provide prescription drug coverage.

Woman smiles as her pharmacist gives her prescription drugs

Medicare Advantage plans (Part C)

All Medicare Advantage plans provide the same coverage as Original Medicare and some may include prescription drug coverage and other benefits.

90% of Medicare Advantage plans offer prescription drug coverage in 2020.1

Each Medicare Advantage plan has its own formulary, which is a list of drugs and brand names the plan will cover. Before enrolling in a particular Medicare Advantage plan, you should check its formulary to see if your particular medications are covered.

If you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan that does not include prescription drug coverage, you may still be able to enroll in a Medicare Part D plan. However, some Medicare Advantage plans have rules which prohibit you from enrolling in a Part D plan.

Check the details of a Part C plan before you enroll.

Find Medicare Advantage plans in your area that offer drug coverage

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Medicare prescription drug plans (Part D)

Medicare Part D plans provide prescription drug coverage for Medicare enrollees.

Medicare Part D is optional coverage that works with many other types of plans, including Original Medicare and some Medicare Advantage plans.

In 2020, more than 42 million people will be enrolled in stand-alone Medicare Part D plans.2

Part D plans have different formularies, tiers, coverage rules, and pharmacy networks. These factors may affect if and when your prescription drugs are covered.

Before enrolling in a Medicare prescription drug plan, you should confirm that the plan’s formulary covers your particular medications.

You can compare Part D plans available where you live and enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan online in as little as 10 minutes when you visit

Enroll in Medicare Part D at