Medicare Part D is the part of Medicare providing prescription drug coverage. It’s a voluntary benefit you can purchase as a stand-alone plan or as part of a Medicare Advantage policy.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) estimates Medicare Part D 2023 cost is approximately $31.50 per month. This projection is 1.8% lower than the 2022 Medicare Part D premium of $32.08 per month.
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Medicare Part D can be bought as a stand-alone policy or part of a Medicare Advantage policy.
Medicare Part D cost for 2023 is estimated at $31.50 per month, a 1.8% decrease from 2022.
Medicare Part D enrollment for coverage starting January 1 is from October 15 to December 7 of the prior year.
Medicare Part D Cost Estimates for 2023
Like other health insurance policies, Part D Medicare costs vary depending on the premium, deductible and out-of-pocket max of a given plan. Part D policyholders may owe copayments and coinsurances, an initial coverage period, a coverage gap (donut hole) and other associated out-of-pocket max and catastrophic coverage costs.
Medicare Part D has four phases — a deductible period, an initial coverage period, a coverage gap and catastrophic coverage. Each period affects the cost of your Medicare Part D. You may notice your costs changing over time.
Actual rates will depend on what tier the prescription falls in. Tier one offers the cheapest generic drugs, while higher tiers include specialty drugs. Some plans allow you to get lower rates through donut hole coverage and discounts.
How to Enroll in Medicare Part D
There are two ways to enroll in Medicare Part D coverage. You can get it as a stand-alone plan, or you can get coverage as part of your Medicare Advantage policy. You can enroll in Parts A and B through Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage.
If you choose Original Medicare, you can add Part D at Medicare.gov. Find Medicare Part D providers and contact them directly, or fill out a paper enrollment form. You can also opt to call 1-800-MEDICARE.
Note that Medicare Open Enrollment for coverage beginning January 1 runs from October 15 to December 7 of the previous year. You can also enroll during the three months before and after your 65th birthday.
Review your policy if you’re enrolled in Medicare Advantage (Part C). You may already have Part D coverage. Although some beneficiaries have it, not all of these plans automatically include it.
If you don’t enroll in Medicare Part D when you’re first eligible, you will face premium penalties. A permanent penalty of 1% of the national base beneficiary premium is charged for every month of missed coverage. This will be attached to your Part D premium.
For instance, if you sign up for Medicare Part D 20 months after becoming eligible, your penalty will be 20%. That means your monthly premium will be 20% higher.
If you have prescription coverage elsewhere and don’t need Part D coverage, you have to provide proof to avoid the penalty. If you lose the coverage, you’ll have 63 days to enroll in Medicare Part D to avoid a penalty.
Medicare Part D 2023 FAQs
Medicare Part D helps you cover the cost of your prescription medications. We’ve answered common questions about how it works, which can help you maximize its benefits.
About Mark Fitzpatrick
- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. "CMS Releases 2023 Projected Medicare Basic Part D Average Premium." Accessed March 21, 2023.