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Medicare Part D Drug Plans for 2020

Part D Late Enrollment Penalty:


If you decide not to get Medicare drug coverage when you're first eligible, you'll likely pay a late enrollment penalty if you join later, unless you have other creditable prescription drug coverage or you get Extra Help with paying your Medicare costs.

Generally, you'll pay this penalty for as long as you have Medicare prescription drug coverage.

The cost of the late enrollment penalty depends on how long you went without Part D or creditable prescription drug coverage. 

Medicare Drug Plans, also known as "PDPs" for Prescription Drug Plans, are an optional benefit available to people with Medicare.

A couple of Medigap plans used to offer prescription coverage prior to 2006 when Part D went into effect. Some Medicare Advantage plans include drug coverage. If you are using Original Medicare with a Medigap policy, then you must purchase a separate PDP to work along with your Medigap plan.


Drug coverage is not automatic, you must enroll and there is an additional premium paid to Social Security just like your Part B premium.

Costs for Part D in 2020:


What you pay for drugs in a year depends on what coverage phase you’re in.


Deductible Phase:

Once you meet your “deductible,” a drug’s cost could vary in each coverage phase. You’ll start a new coverage phase once your spending for drugs has reached a certain amount.


Initial Coverage Phase: 

You’ll pay a percentage of the plan’s cost for covered drugs. Once you and your plan spends $4,020 combined on drugs (including deductible), you’re in the coverage gap.


Coverage gap (also called "donut hole"):

You’re in this phase if you and your plan spend $4,020 on drugs. During this phase, your plan doesn’t pay for your drugs. You’ll pay no more than 25% of the cost for brand-name drugs and generic drugs until you spend $6,350.


Catastrophic coverage: 

You’ll reach this phase if your drug costs reach $6,350 during the year. You’ll pay no more than 5% of the cost for covered drugs for the rest of the year.

Deductibles, copayments, & coinsurance:

The amount you pay for Part D deductibles, co-payments, and/or coinsurance varies by plan. There are over 25 drug plans available in most areas which creates a lot of confusion.

We perform a complete analysis each year during the Annual Enrollment Period from October 15th to December 7th each year. This is the time to make sure you still have the lowest-cost PDP each year. 

The total cost for Part D Drug plans depends on your specific list of medications, whether your pharmacy is "in-network" preferred, and the copay rates of the plan you choose.  

Our Smooth Medicare System includes a comprehensive review and comparison of the PDP plans available to you. 

Get help with your 2020 Part D Prescription Drug Plan.  Our services are always free of charge. 

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Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information. Not connected with or endorsed by the United States government or the federal Medicare program.