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NYC Office of Actuary NYC Department for the Aging
Prescription Drug Assistance

Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D of Medicare) is insurance provided by an insurance company or other private company approved by Medicare.  There are two ways to get Medicare prescription drug coverage.  Medicare Prescription Drug Plans add drug coverage to Original Medicare, some Medicare Cost Plans, some Medicare Private Fee-for-Service Plans and Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans.  Medicare Advantage Plans (like an HMO or PPO) offer Medicare prescription drug coverage.  You get all of your Part A and Part B coverage, along with prescription drug coverage (Part D) through these Medicare health plans.

Selecting a Part D Plan

Medicare beneficiaries who are enrolled in Original Medicare (not members of a Medicare Advantage Plan) must enroll in a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to have prescription drug costs covered by Medicare Part D.

Visit Medicare Prescription Drug Finder to search for the right plan for you

Help Selecting a Plan

Overwhelmed by the number of plans to choose from and unsure which is best for you? The Department for the Aging’s Health Insurance Information Counseling and Assistance Program (HIICAP) and local Medicare Part D Information and Enrollment Centers can help you identify the plan that best suits your needs. A trained counselor will work with you one-on-one to review your medications and help you understand how plans differ and which is best for you. You can also get help enrolling in your Plan D choice and finding programs that assist seniors with premiums, deductibles and co-pays.

For an appointment with a trained counselor:

  • Locate a Medicare Part D Enrollment Center (in PDF) near you, or
  • Contact HIICAP directly at 212-341-3978 to get help by phone or make an appointment to visit. HIICAP offices are located at the New York City Department for the Aging, 2 Lafayette Street, 6th floor. An appointment to visit is necessary.

Help Paying Your Plan Costs

Extra help with Medicare prescription drug costs is available from the Security Social Administration or you can apply through BenefitCheckUp.

EPIC (New York State's Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage program) lowers premiums, co-pays and out-of-pocket costs of Part D plans for eligible New Yorkers age 65 and over.

Patient Advocate Foundation provides direct financial support with co-payments to insured patients, including Medicare Part D beneficiaries.

Help Paying For Medications Your Insurance Doesn't Cover Or If You're Not Medicare Eligible

The Big Apple Rx is New York City’s Official Prescription Drug Discount Card, available free of charge for use at more than 2,000 City pharmacies.  The Card cannot be used in combination with your Part D insurance.  It may be used to pay for medications your insurance doesn’t cover, or if you don’t have insurance, or to help defray expenses if you reach the “donut hole” phase, or instead of your insurance.

Visit the Big Apple Rx

The New York Prescription Saver Card is a government program that helps individuals (a) age 50-65 or (b) determined disabled by the Social Security Administration AND who meet income requirements save as much as 60% on generics and 30% on brand name drugs.

Visit the New York Prescription Saver Card

Partnership for Prescription Assistance helps qualifying persons without prescription drug coverage get the medicines they need.

Visit the Partnership for Prescription Assistance

Together RX Access offers a prescription drug savings program to people who are not Medicare eligible or have no other coverage.

Visit Together RX Access

Other Resources

The following websites can help you find and apply for programs that help you save money on prescription drugs and other healthcare costs.

Visit the Pharmaceutical Assistance Program
Visit RX Hope
Visit NeedyMeds
Visit the National Organization for Rare Diseases (NORD)
Visit The Medicine Program