Here is how a Medicare beneficiary can get prescription drug coverage. Medicare offers prescription drug coverage to everyone with Medicare. If they decide not to get Medicare drug coverage when they are first eligible, they will likely pay a late enrollment penalty unless one of these applies:
They have other creditable prescription drug coverage
Or they qualify for the Extra Help program
To get Medicare drug coverage, they must join a plan administrated by an insurance company or other private company approved by Medicare. Each plan can vary in cost and drugs covered.
There are two ways to get drug coverage:
Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D). These plans (sometimes called "PDPs") add drug coverage to Original Medicare
Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) that offers Medicare prescription drug coverage. They get all of their Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) coverage, and prescription drug coverage (Part D), through these plans.
Medicare Advantage Plans with prescription drug coverage are sometimes called “MA-PDs.” They must have Part A and Part B to join a Medicare Advantage Plan