Medicare’s drug benefit (Part D) offers outpatient prescription drug coverage for anyone with Medicare. It is only available through private companies.

If you want to get Part D coverage, you have to choose and enroll in a private Medicare prescription drug plan (PDP) or a Medicare Advantage Plan with drug coverage (MAPD). Enrollment is optional (though recommended to avoid incurring future penalties) and only allowed during approved enrollment periods. Whether you should sign up for a Medicare Part D plan depends on your circumstances. Some people already enrolled in certain low-income assistance programs may be automatically enrolled in a Medicare drug plan and receive additional financial assistance paying for their medicines.