Medicare Part D: Prescription Drug Coverage

General Information

Medicare Part D is a voluntary program providing prescription drug coverage to Medicare beneficiaries through the implementation of the federal Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003. The Department of Human Services offers information to help you understand the major policy changes brought by Medicare Part D. If you receive Medicare and get your prescription drugs through Medical Assistance (the ACCESS card), you will be required to enroll in a Part D plan.

Other Medicare consumers should review their prescription coverage to decide if they want to enroll in Medicare part D. Any Medicare beneficiary (on Part A and/or Part B) can sign up for the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit. To get a fit that works for them, beneficiaries should make a note of any current drug coverage, their prescription drugs and their preferences about pharmacies or additional coverage.

For those most in need, there may be extra help for paying for some of costs of Medicare Part D. Your local Social Security Office or County Assistance Office can assist you in completing a subsidy application.

A toll-free telephone number, 1-800-MEDICARE, has been set up to help people with Medicare understand the Medicare prescription drug coverage and determine if they qualify for the extra help paying for prescription drugs. Callers can use the automated system to get information about Medicare prescription drug coverage. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) are working together to ensure the successful education of and communication with people with Medicare who are both eligible and potentially eligible for the extra help.

More information

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are available at