Center Forward “Basics”: Medicare Part D – Prescription Drug Coverage for Seniors

From the Center Forward "Basics" series


In 2003, Congress passed legislation to create a prescription drug benefit for seniors in Medicare – Medicare “Part D.” At the time, the new law was the first major change to Medicare in nearly 40 years. Today, more than 35 million seniors rely on Part D benefits, including 11 million low-income seniors at or near poverty.

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Why did Congress pass Medicare Part D?

What were the impacts of Part D?

How does Part D work?

How much does the program cost?

What’s the future of Part D?