Alexa Logo

Get caregiver alerts and 24/7 Urgent Response through your Amazon Echo!

Try free for 30 days

SeniorLiving.org’s Best Recommendations for Medicare Part D Plans

SeniorLiving.org is compensated when you click on the provider links listed on this page. This compensation does not impact our ratings or reviews.

Known for customer service and experience
Call for best price: Call to Order: 855-844-3779
Known for online experience
Call for best price: Call to Order: 877-565-6296
Known for membership perks
Call for best price: Call to Order: 877-566-2921
Scroll right for more options

Prescription drugs aren’t getting any cheaper. If you’re taking any medications, you know just how true that statement is. If you’re looking for a way to reduce your medication costs, a Medicare Part D plan might suit your needs, as it offers prescription drug coverage not covered under Original Medicare. With so many carriers on the market to choose from, we’ve narrowed down our list to six Medicare Part D carriers SeniorLiving.org recommends:

How We Chose Medicare Part D Plans

Picking the right Medicare Part D plan, also called a prescription drug plan (PDP), may seem overwhelming, with so many plans to choose from. Our mission is to provide you with the right information so you can make an informed decision based on your needs. We looked at insurers across the nation while comparing prices, plan availability, ease of website navigation, overall customer satisfaction, and perks for being a customer. All opinions and recommendations are developed independently by SeniorLiving.org. See which carriers made our list!

  • 1. Humana

    Overview

    Humana serves over 20 million customers and has been in business since 1961. The company is well known for its excellent customer service, and ranked No. 1 for customer experience quality in Forrester’s 2022 U.S. Customer Experience Benchmark survey.1 Humana offers two plans with $0 deductibles and copays for Tier 1 and Tier 2 drugs. The carrier keeps costs down by networking with Walmart and Sam’s Club. Humana has great mobile app features that let you check your policy and coverage or reorder medications. They also have a fitness app for those who want to stay active.

    Pros
    • Low overall cost
    • Easy-to-use website
    • Over 3,700 prescription drugs covered
    • $0 deductible plans available
    • Large pharmacy network
    Cons
    • Humana has three separate mobile apps, which can be confusing.
    • Plans and coverage vary by location.

    The Bottom Line

    Humana’s Medicare Part D plans offer low overall costs, membership perks, and nationwide availability. If you travel often, take preferred generics, or enjoy mobile fitness apps, their plans may be worth considering. You may also qualify for a one-on-one, comprehensive review of the medications you take with a specialist through Humana’s Medication Therapy Management Program. This just goes to show that Humana cares about their customers’ well-being.

    FYI: Humana provides several types of insurance for Medicare beneficiaries. You can check out our latest Humana Medigap review and Humana Medicare Advantage review for more information.

  • 2. Anthem

    Overview

    Anthem is part of the Blue Cross Blue Shield network, the second-largest health insurance company in the nation. Finding the right Medicare Part D plan for your needs can certainly be time-consuming. Anthem earned high marks for its user-friendly plan comparison tools and straightforward website navigation. We love when a carrier makes it simple to shop! It was a breeze to research plans and compare benefits and pricing — and they receive bonus points for offering the ability to check medication coverage and pharmacy networks. Knowing what your Part D plan includes is crucial, and Anthem has you covered.

    Pros
    • Their intuitive website makes research stress-free.
    • They offer robust online resources for Medigap, Medicare Part C, Part D, dental, and vision plans.
    • They offer a Medication Therapy Management Program for eligible members with multiple health conditions.
    • They offer Part D plans with copays as low as $1 at preferred in-network pharmacies.
    • Their Senior Savings Insulin Program may be ideal for people with diabetes.
    Cons
    • Their coverage area is limited to 14 states.
    • Their premiums tend to be higher than the competition.
    • Plans and coverage vary by location.

    The Bottom Line

    If you live in a state where Anthem is a carrier, they may be a solid choice to explore. We were impressed with the online experience, enrollment tutorials, health and wellness resources, and medication research tools. If you’re weighing your options on a stand-alone prescription drug plan versus a Medicare Part C plan with drug coverage, check out our Anthem Medicare Advantage plans review for more details.

  • 3. Cigna

    Overview

    With more than 225 years in business and serving over 180 million customers, Cigna stands out among insurance carriers. Cigna offers Medicare Part D plans in 50 states and Washington, D.C. They have over 63,000 pharmacies and more than 3,000 medications as part of their formulary. Now that’s impressive coverage!

    With Cigna’s lower premiums, deductibles, and copays for Tier 1 and 2 drugs at preferred pharmacies, you may get a great price compared to other carriers. Cigna also offers excellent online perks and discounts to some members, such as savings on LASIK vision correction or certain yoga products and acupuncture, to name a few. Check out our Cigna Medigap review and Cigna Medicare Advantage review for more details on Cigna’s other insurance offerings.

    Pros
    • Plans offered in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
    • Over 63,000 pharmacies to choose from
    • Easy-to-navigate website
    • Over 3,000 medications common to Medicare members on preferred formulary
    • 24/7 customer support available
    • Online perks and discounts available
    Cons
    • Higher premiums than some competitors
    • Plans and coverage vary by location.

    The Bottom Line

    Cigna is one of our recommendations for Medicare Part D carriers because of their pricing, plan coverage, and availability. You may be able to choose from three Part D plans, ranging in monthly premium prices and deductible costs. Cigna’s plans offer a $0 copay for Tier 1 preferred generic medications when you choose mail order from a pharmacy with preferred cost-sharing. That can add up to significant savings in money and time! Cigna also earns points for extras, such as ease of website navigation and added customer perks.

  • 4. Wellcare

    Overview

    Prescription drug plans shouldn’t be one-size-fits-all! With three plans varying in coverage and cost levels, Wellcare’s Part D plan offerings are customized to fit various budgetary and medication needs. Their low-premium Value Script PDP may be ideal for those who don’t take much medication and, if they do, it’s generic. Wellcare’s Classic PDP is a middle-of-the-road Part D plan. For those needing more comprehensive coverage, Wellcare’s Medicare Rx Value Plus may provide greater coverage for non-preferred and specialty drugs. Wellcare comes with an extensive network of over 60,000 pharmacies that offer preferred retail cost-sharing. Talk about flexibility to choose what’s best for you and your prescription needs!

    Pros
    • You may have three prescription drug plans to choose from.
    • Their copays are as low as $0 at preferred retail pharmacies.
    • Their copays are as low as $0 at preferred retail pharmacies. Their preferred pharmacies include CVS, Walgreens, and most grocery chains.
    • They include plans designed for those eligible for Extra Help.
    • They offer over 60,000 in-network pharmacies.
    Cons
    • Lower-cost preferred pharmacies may not be available in rural areas.
    • Plans and coverage vary by location.

    The Bottom Line

    As one of the largest managed care organizations across the United States, Wellcare’s plan offerings, including their tiered Medicare Part D plans, are noteworthy. Their large pharmacy network rivals healthcare giants like Aetna and Cigna. Wellcare also delivers Medicare Advantage plans complete with dental, hearing, and vision benefits. With Wellcare’s Part D range of plans, you’re in control of your healthcare needs, prescription benefits, and financial costs.

  • 5. Aetna

    Overview

    Aetna made our list of Medicare Part D carriers for several reasons. They serve more than 39 million people and have been in business for over 170 years, making them an industry mainstay. Aetna is now a subsidiary of CVS and has over 65,000 pharmacies in their network for accessible nationwide coverage. They also offer a wide range of coverage options, including Medicare Part D, Medigap, and comprehensive coverage plans. See our Aetna Medigap review for more information.

    Pros
    • Low monthly rates, depending on location
    • $0 deductibles available on some prescription drug plans
    • Easy-to-use website
    • Plans available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
    • 24/7 customer support
    Cons
    • Higher premium for SilverScript Plus PDP
    • Plans and coverage vary by location.

    The Bottom Line

    We feel Aetna may be a great option for your Medicare Part D plan if you are on a fixed income or looking for an extensive pharmacy selection because you travel frequently. It may also be a great choice if you currently take little to no medication but are looking for an affordable PDP so you won’t pay the late enrollment penalty down the line. That’s smart thinking!

  • 6. AARP From UnitedHealthcare

    Overview

    AARP’s MedicareRx prescription drug program from UnitedHealthcare may be another excellent option to consider for your Medicare Part D plan. UnitedHealthcare has been in business since 1977, serves more than 26 million people, and, in 1997, teamed up with AARP for better Medicare prescription drug coverage. AARP has great ratings, and you may be able to save even more by using their preferred partner pharmacies, Walgreens and Duane Reade. You can also review your policy and manage prescriptions from one mobile app, plus access a plethora of educational materials from their website. We appreciate these additional resources! Check out our UnitedHealthcare review and AARP Medicare Advantage review for more information.

    Pros
    • Educational website
    • Extensive network of preferred pharmacies
    • High customer service star rating
    • Convenient UnitedHealthcare mobile app
    Cons
    • Not available in all locations
    • Higher premiums than average
    • AARP membership is required for enrollment
    • Plans and coverage vary by location.

    The Bottom Line

    If you are an older adult looking for a Medicare Part D carrier, you may consider AARP prescription drug plans from UnitedHealthcare. Although the AARP MedicareRx Preferred PDP may have higher monthly premiums, it also has a $0 deductible across drug tiers, which may be worth the price in our book.

How to Choose a Medicare Part D Plan

When you’re choosing your Medicare Part D plan, it is important to keep the following in mind:

  • The carrier’s drug formulary compared to your current medications
  • Your need for a large network of pharmacies if you travel frequently
  • Whether you qualify for Medicare Savings Programs
  • Price in premiums compared to deductibles and copays

Pro Tip: Check out SHIP, a state health insurance assistance program that offers free, unbiased, one-on-one, and local Medicare plan counseling.

How Much Do Medicare Part D Plans Cost?

Medicare Part D plans vary in costs depending on location and plan. Most Medicare Part D carriers give you a few plans to choose from, ranging from basic to premium coverage, which can be deducted from your Social Security check for added convenience.

The average base beneficiary premium is $33.37,2 and you may pay extra based on your income. The good news is that the annual deductible will not exceed $505 in 2023. The bad news is that there is a coverage gap, often referred to as the “donut hole.” You enter the coverage gap when you and your Medicare Part D carrier have collectively spent $4,660 in 2023. You will then be responsible for 25 percent of prescription costs until you reach an out-of-pocket maximum of $7,400 and enter what’s called catastrophic coverage. Once you are in this coverage, you may pay only a small percentage of the cost of your medications. This won’t apply to all enrollees, especially those on fewer or more affordable medications, but it’s still important to note.

When to Enroll in a Medicare Part D Plan

It’s best to start shopping early. You may enroll up to three months before your 65th birth month, and you have until three months after. Remember to check your carrier’s drug formulary every year to compare it with competitors and your current medications, as formularies can change. You may be able to change your Medicare Part D plan during open enrollment, which is from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 every year. You also will have 63 days after moving to enroll in a different plan based on your location.

Pro Tip: For an in-depth look at Medicare, including when you can enroll in or switch your Part D prescription drug plan, head over to our Medicare enrollment guide.

Written By

Maureen Stanley

Writer & Editor

Maureen joined SeniorLiving.org with more than 10 years of experience writing in health, lifestyle, and nutrition for premium brands like General Mills, Westinghouse, and Bristol Myers Squibb. Her passion for empowering older adults is evident in coverage of topics like retirement, health… Learn More About Maureen Stanley

Citations
  1. Humana. (2022). Humana ranked No. 1 among health insurers for Customer Experience.

  2. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2020). CENTER FOR MEDICARE.