There are two ways you can get Medicare Part D coverage:
- Stand Alone Medicare Prescription Drug Plan
- Also known as PDPs
- These are plans that only provide Medicare Part D coverage. They add the prescription drug benefit to your Original Medicare, some Medicare Cost Plans, and some Private-Fee- For-Service Plans.
- Medicare Advantage Plans or Other Medicare Health Plans
- Also known as MA-PDs
- These plans provide your Medicare Part A, Part B and Part D coverage – all through one plan.
Anyone who is covered by Medicare Part A and/or Medicare Part B is eligible for Medicare Part D.
Generally you will pay a monthly premium for the Part D coverage. You may also have additional out-of-pocket costs including deductibles, co-insurance or co-pays.
Medicare Part D Late Enrollment Penalty: If you do not enroll in Medicare Part D plan when you are first eligible for Medicare Part A and/or Part B, and you do not have other creditable prescription drug coverage (refer to glossary), you may have to pay a Medicare Part D monthly premium penalty when you do enroll. The penalty also applies if you have a break in your Medicare Part D coverage or other creditable coverage for at least 63 days in a row.
- The Part D premium penalty is 1 percent of the current national base beneficiary premium ($36.02 in 2012) for each full, uncovered month that you were eligible to enroll in a Part D plan but did not.
- The amount of the Part D monthly premium penalty you pay will change in January of each year (most likely will increase). This is because the national base beneficiary premium changes every year and it is the amount used to recalculate the Part D premium penalty for the new calendar year.
Example: You did not have creditable prescription drug coverage. Your initial enrollment period for Medicare Part D ended on May 15, 2006. You waited to join a Medicare Part D plan until December 2008 and your Part D coverage became effective on January 1, 2009. Since you were not enrolled in a Medicare Part D for seven months in 2006 (June through December), all 12 months in 2007, and all 12 months in 2008, you will have to pay a 31 percent (1 percent for each full, uncovered month that you were eligible to enroll in a Medicare drug plan but didn’t) penalty. Since the national base beneficiary premium for 2009 was $30.36, you will be charged $9.40 ($9.41 rounded to the nearest $.10) each month in addition to your plan monthly premium. This amount will change each year when the national base beneficiary premium changes.
The following chart, from the Minnesota Board on Aging, offers a good graphic presentation of Part D benefits, the donut hole and other relevant cost factors:
The list below contains the highest rated Medicare Part D prescription drug plans in the state of Minnesota. It is for informational purposes only and some listings may be inaccurate or missing. The list was provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), but due to the variance in plans based on county, city, and region, some options may not be available in your location.