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prescription drug plan (PDP)

What is a prescription drug plan (PDP)?

A Part D prescription drug plan (PDP) – or “stand-alone prescription drug plan” – is one of two main ways Medicare beneficiaries can enroll in Medicare coverage for prescription drugs.

The Medicare Part D benefit is offered through private insurers, either as a stand-alone Part D plan (PDP) or a Medicare Advantage plan that has prescription drug benefits (MAPD). As of 2019, about 46 percent of Part D enrollees are enrolled in a PDP and another 39 percent have an MAPD.

A PDP can be purchased by beneficiaries with Original Medicare coverage (with or without a Medigap plan) and – in some cases –by Medicare Advantage (MA) beneficiaries who don’t have a prescription drug benefit included in their MA plan.

Read our overview of Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage.