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What Is Medicare Part D?

Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage, often referred to as Part D, is available from private insurers to anyone who is also eligible for Original Medicare and permanently resides in the service area of a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. Different insurers offer different types of plans, so your premium and out-of-pocket expenses for prescription drugs will vary.
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It can be a good idea to review your Medicare prescription drug coverage every year, to see if the plan you chose covers the medications you need now and may need in the upcoming year.

Typically you pay a monthly premium to be covered under the plan. Also you should be aware of variations in the coverage and cost sharing associated with plans. Coverage generally follows this pattern:

  1. If the plan has a deductible, you pay the full amount of your prescription drug purchases until the deductible is met.
  2. After you satisfy the deductible, you will pay a share of the costs according to the terms of your plan. Your share, which you typically pay to the pharmacy at the time of pickup, could be a flat amount (copayment) or a percentage of the total amount (coinsurance).
  3. Once you have paid a certain annual maximum amount out of your own pocket for prescription drugs, you automatically get "catastrophic coverage." This means for the rest of that particular year, you would only pay a small copayment or coinsurance amount for prescription drugs.

Be sure to talk to your doctor to see if you are taking the lowest cost medications available to you. Specific coverage may vary from plan to plan, so read your documentation carefully.

Filling the coverage gap

You may have heard of a Medicare coverage gap (also called the "donut hole") but aren't clear what it is. You are not alone! After your Part D coverage has paid a certain amount for prescription drugs, you may have to pay all costs yourself, up to a yearly limit.

The recent federal health care reform legislation will reduce the coverage gap over several years to make prescription drugs more affordable. There will be additional savings in the coverage gap each year through 2020, when the coverage gap is closed completely.. For more information, see "Closing the Coverage Gap," available at or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY users 1-877-486-2048, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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eHealth’s licensed Medicare sales agents are available to answer questions and help you find a Medicare prescription drug plan that could suit your needs and budget. You can talk to us with no obligation. Make an appointment

What our customers say about our licensed insurance agents:

  • I am very surprised and pleased with the service Cordell M. gave me. I did not have a strong understanding of my insurance and he was very patient in helping me. He did not rush me, and when I told him I needed to take some time and decide , he most importantly did not try the typical high-pressure close. Overall, I am very pleased. Can't say enough good things about the way I was treated and talked to by Cordell M. Quite frankly, I expect to sign up through your site with Cordell M. in large part because of the way Cordell M. handled my questions.

    -Anonymous, Kannapolis, NC

  • Made the process very easy. Answered all questions, and put my mind at ease concerning the coverage and process.

    -Patsy K, Largo, FL

  • I wish all representatives and/or people that deal with seniors and the public were as patient and precise as Jory. He is a gem. Thanks for his kindness.

    -Anonymous, Detroit, MI

Tips from our licensed Medicare insurance agents
Do you know the 3 C's of drug coverage?
Make sure you're switching to generic prescription drugs whenever possible
Pay attention to your co-pays for prescription drug coverage
Our licensed Medicare insurance agents are available to help you with free, unbiased assistance. They don’t work for insurance companies and aren’t driven by sales commissions.

Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information.

Find an affordable Medicare plan

Are you ready to learn about the specific Medicare plans that may work for you? You can go about it in several ways:

  • Contact the Medicare plan directly.
  • Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY users 1-877-486-2048; 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Contact a licensed insurance agency such as eHealth.
    • Call eHealth's licensed sales agents at 1-, TTY users 711, .
    • Or enter your zip code where requested on this page to see a quote.

This website and its contents are for informational purposes only. Nothing on the website should ever be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always consult with your medical provider regarding diagnosis or treatment for a health condition, including decisions about the correct medication for your condition, as well as prior to undertaking any specific exercise or dietary routine.

eHealth Medicare is operated by eHealthInsurance Services, Inc., a licensed health insurance agency certified to sell Medicare products.
Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information.