The Medicare Consumer Guide is a great resource to help you understand exactly what Medicare Part D is and what is covered. Many people are confused and a break down is sometimes the easiest way to understand what you will actually get.

Part D is a prescription drug coverage insurance which helps to cover the costs of prescriptions for Medicare recipients. To become eligible, you can either add it to your original Medicare plan or join and HMO or PPO that includes the Part D coverage. If you in the original Medicare plan, in most cases you will pay a separate premium to add Part D coverage. After signing up, you will receive a card and materials in the mail.

There are different Part D plans, some including a “coverage gap” which after you spent a certain amount, you are responsible for 100% of your prescriptions until you reach the out-of-pocket limit.

If the Part D coverage is not affordable for you, there are different options you have available. You can look into programs such as Medigap or Medicaid to see if you meet the income requirements. If you are already covered through a current or previous employer, you will want to be sure to contact your benefits administrator. Adding Part D could result in your coverage being lost.