Medicare Part D

Medicare Part D plans, which provide prescription drug coverage, are offered by private insurance companies with a Medicare contract. (It is also possible to receive prescription drug coverage through a Medicare Advantage Plan or a Medicare Cost Plan that offers prescription drug coverage)

Medicare Part D is an optional benefit. However, if you do not enroll when you are first eligible and do not have existing equivalent drug coverage, you may have to pay a premium penalty if you enroll at a later time.

Each Part D plan is different. Each can cover different drugs and have different costs. 

More details on Part D plans in Minnesota can be found in Health Care Choices for Minnesotans on Medicare – an annual publication by the Minnesota Board on Aging and Senior LinkAge Line® that outlines Medicare options in Minnesota.

To find and compare Part D plans, you can also use the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder at Medicare.gov.

What Plan D Providers May and May Not Do

Medicare Plan D providers have to follow Medicare rules that limit how they promote their plans. 

Unfortunately, some plan representatives may break the rules and use high-pressure sales tactics or false promises to try to enroll you in a plan that may not cover the drugs you take. Or scammers may pretend to be Part D providers in order to get your personal information — such as your Medicare number — to commit identity theft.

  • To protect consumers, the law is very specific about what Medicare Plan D providers may and may not do. For example:

  • Medicare Part D plan representatives may not market through unsolicited contact, including:

    • Telemarketing calls, including voice mail messages

    • Emails or texts

    • Door-to-door solicitations, including leaflets or flyers at your home or car

    • Approaching you in common areas, like parking lots, hallways, lobbies and sidewalks.
       

  • Medicare Part D plan representatives may enroll you on the phone only if YOU call them. You can be on the safe side by calling Medicare first (toll-free at 1-800-633-4227) to verify the legitimacy of any provider you may be tempted to call. Medicare doesn't recommend any particular prescription drug plan; it simply verifies that a provider is legitimate.

  • Providers may come to your home only if you have invited them to do so.

  • Providers may ask you how you want to pay your premiums, but they may not ask you for payment on the phone or through the internet.

  • You may set up a direct payment plan if you want to, but the provider first has to mail you the information to do so.

  • Legitimate providers will not charge you any fees to enroll in a plan. 

  • You will never be called by Medicare, the Commerce Department or The Senior LinkAge Line® to get you to sign up for a Part D plan. If you receive such a call, it is a scam.

 

Report scams and suspicious activity to Medicare by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). You can also call the Medicare Drug Integrity Contractor (MEDIC) at 1-877-772-3379. The MEDIC helps prevent inappropriate activity and fights fraud, waste, and abuse in Medicare plans.

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