Medicare Part B vs. Part D

Medicare Part B vs. Part D

Part B is your medical coverage. Part D is your prescription drug coverage. However, depending on the type of medications you receive and where you receive them, there are times when you will need to use your Part B medical coverage for prescriptions and pharmacy-related items.

Original Medicare
Part B Medical Insurance

Items that may be covered by Medicare Part B, and not Part D:

Confused by Medicare terms?

Look it up in the Cigna Medicare Glossary

Part B

Part B is your medical coverage. This part pays for things like doctor visits, lab tests, and home health care.

Medicare requires that certain medications and durable medical equipment (like diabetic test strips, nebulizers, and wheelchairs) be covered under Part B.

You may receive your Part B medical coverage through your former employer, through a standalone plan, or directly from Medicare.

You need to pay a Part B premium to Medicare every month.

Remember, just because you can purchase an item at a pharmacy, it does not mean that item is covered by your prescription drug plan. Certain health supplies or equipment may be covered by the medical part of your Medicare plan, Part B.

Part D

Part D is your prescription drug coverage. This part pays for any medications you take regularly to manage chronic conditions, for example, heart disease, high cholesterol, or asthma. It also pays for any medications you take for a short period of time, such as antibiotics.

Many retail pharmacies cannot bill a medical plan for Medicare medical prescriptions (commonly referred to as Part B drugs) or medical equipment.

If you need Part B drugs or medical equipment, ask if your pharmacy is able to bill your medical plan directly. Or, consider using these types of specialty service providers:

  • Medical equipment
  • Home infusion
  • Home health care
  • Specialty pharmacy
  • Medical specialty service
  • Mail-order pharmacy

If you need help finding a specialty provider, contact us.

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