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Summary: If you have Medicare Advantage, your prescription drugs may be conveniently bundled in with your medical and hospital insurance. If you have Original Medicare, you may enroll in a stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan. Medicare prescription drug coverage could save you money at the pharmacy.
If you’re like many people on Medicare, you take at least one prescription drug daily. However, basic Medicare doesn’t cover most prescription drugs you take at home. Medicare has contracted with private insurance companies to provide prescription drug coverage to Medicare beneficiaries, usually at an additional cost.
Medicare prescription drug plans are called Medicare Part D. You think of “D” for “drug.” The good news is that you have options for how you want your Medicare prescription drug coverage.
You can choose to get your Medicare benefits through Original Medicare. Alternatively, you might decide you would prefer to enroll in Medicare Advantage. If you have Medicare Advantage, your prescription drugs may be conveniently bundled in with your medical and hospital insurance and you don’t need any additional coverage. However, if you have Original Medicare, you may enroll in a stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan.
Otherwise, some of you may be able to satisfy Medicare’s requirement for creditable prescription drug coverage through a retirement or government health plan.
You may decide you’d prefer the convenience of Medicare Advantage plans that come bundled with prescription drug insurance. You will pay the same monthly premium for both your health and prescription drug plan. So, the main advantage of having Medicare Advantage plans with prescription drug coverage is that it simplifies managing your healthcare.
In a Medicare Advantage plan:
On the other hand, some Medicare beneficiaries prefer to manage their health and prescription drug coverage independently. With a stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plans you can consider the prescription drug formulary and network of pharmacies independently of the medical benefits and network of your other health insurance.
Having the chance to shop for the right stand-alone prescription drug policy could save you money at the pharmacy on expensive prescription drugs.
Medicare Advantage plans can do a great job of controlling costs and simplifying claims. When Medicare Advantage plans include Part D, you can simply use the same ID card at the pharmacy that you use at the doctor. If you like this sort of convenience and are happy with both the prescription drug and medical networks, consider Medicare Advantage plans that come with Part D. Still, Medicare Advantage plans with prescription drug insurance might not be the best solution for everybody, so it’s important to understand your options.
To find a Medicare Advantage or stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan in your area, enter your ZIP Code on this page.
eHealth's Medicare website is operated by eHealthInsurance Services, Inc., a licensed health insurance agency doing business as eHealth. The purpose of this site is the solicitation of insurance. Contact may be made by an insurance agent/producer or insurance company. eHealth and Medicare supplement insurance plans are not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. government or the federal Medicare program. We offer plans from a number of insurance companies.