What is Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Coverage?

Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage is insurance that:

  • helps to pay for prescription drugs at participating pharmacies
  • provides coverage to help offset the cost of prescription drugs
  • helps to pay for unexpected prescription drug costs

As a federal program, Medicare Part D was enacted as a part of the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003. It officially went into effect on January 1, 2006.


Medicare Part D is available as stand-alone coverage (also called Prescription Drug Plan or PDP), or as a prescription drug benefit added to a Medicare Part C plan (MA-PD).


Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage is only available through private insurance companies that are approved by Medicare. SilverScript is a provider of stand-alone prescription drug coverage. Beneficiaries can choose the drug plan they want and pay a monthly premium.


Return to the Medicare FAQ section to view more answers to other commonly asked questions about prescription drug coverage.