Medicare Part D (Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage) helps cover prescription drug costs.  Private insurers contract with Medicare to provide these plans too.  There are many different plans offered by the insurers that vary by monthly premium.  The plans are based on a combination of drugs that you have been prescribed called a “formulary.”  Choosing the right plan is important so you do not have to pay excessive amounts towards a plan that may not cover your prescriptions.  Part D plans can only be changed during open enrollment with an effective date of January 1.  Please remember that even though Part D is an option and not a requirement, if you don’t join a Medicare PDP when you become eligible, you may have to pay a higher premium if you join later.  New legislation has been initiated that will increase the government subsidy to Part D providers over time.  This is expected to reduce the costs associated with the Medicare Part D “doughnut hole.”