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Medicare Part D

Medicare Part D is an attempt by the federal government of the United States to provide financial assistance for the purchase of prescription drugs to individuals who already qualify for Medicare A or Medicare B. Qualified individuals may join the plan when they first become eligible for Medicare, or during the Annual Coordinated Election Period (November 15, 2006 to December 31, 2006). A variety of plans are available and must be carefully assessed to see which, if any, are appropriate for an individual. The first step toward determining whether or not enrollment is beneficial is to make a list of all the prescription drugs you currently take, including their dosage and cost. You will need this list to complete your analysis.

Use the resources on this pathfinder to help decide whether enrollment in Medicare Part D is a good option for you.


Illinois Senior Health Insurance Program Illinois seniors on Medicare may contact the Illinois Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) to receive free, unbiased advice on Medicare prescription drug coverage.

Call toll-free 1-800-548-9034 to speak to a SHIP counselor.

Illinois Department on Aging The Illinois Department on Aging website’s Consumer Resource Center has access to the Medicare Interactive Counselor, a healthcare and information tool that provides information about the new Medicare prescription drug benefit.

Visit the Illinois Department on Aging Consumer Resource Center at http://www.illinoisbenefits.org/.

Medicare Please refer specific questions about the new insurance coverage to Medicare.
1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).

Visit Medicare online at www.Medicare.gov.

Journal Articles

  • Medicare Part D: Decisions, Decisions, Decisions. Harvard Health Letter. Anonymous. December 2005.

Internet Sites

MedlinePlus: Medicare Prescription Drug Plan
Developed at the National Library of Medicine specifically for consumers, this site is a portal for both government- sponsored and privately developed health information targeting the lay public. News about Medicare Part D changes daily and can be followed on this Web site.

Description: Provides an exhaustive overview and introduction to Medicare Part D. Also features a tool to help consumers compare drug plans by area. Approved drug plans, with details on premiums, deductibles, and the drugs covered, are listed by region.

Medicare Rights Center: Your Guide through the Medicare Maze
Description: Advocacy organization, founded in 1989, provides a telephone hotline, newsletter, a glossary of Medicare terms, a forum for sharing experiences with Medicare, and much more.

American Association of Retired Persons (AARP): Health
Description: Rich source of information about senior health in general, and Medicare Part D in particular. Click on the Medicare link to begin examining this constantly changing information.

Medicare Drug Plans.com
Provides comparisons of the various Medicare Part D plans, including reviews written by consumers and analysis of the cost differences between plans.

Review Date: 11/06

Last UpdateFebruary 8, 2011