Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D). These plans (sometimes called "PDPs") add drug coverage to Original Medicare. These are private drug plans that contract with Medicare to provide drug coverage. These plans have premiums, some have deductibles, they have copays, and are subject to a coverage gap/donut hole.
Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) (like an HMO or PPO) or other Medicare health plan that offers Medicare prescription drug coverage. You get all of your Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) coverage, and prescription drug coverage (Part D), through these plans. Medicare Advantage Plans with prescription drug coverage are sometimes called “MA-PDs.” You must have Part A and Part B to join a Medicare Advantage Plan. Medicare Advantage plans are subject to the donut hole.
The Medicare drug plans have different payments stages. The "doughnut hole" refers to a partial gap in prescription drug cost coverage under Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage Plans.
In 2019, once you reach $3,820 in prescription drug costs (which include both your share of covered drugs and the amount paid by your part D plan) you will be in the coverage gap. In 2019, you will get a 75% discount on brand-name drugs and a 63% discount on generic prescription drugs while you are in the coverage gap. When your total out-of-pocket costs reach $7,653.75, you qualify for "catastrophic coverage." At that point, you are responsible for only 5% of your prescription drug costs for the rest of the year.
If you are computer literate and would like to investigate the costs of a Medicare Part D plan you can go to www.medicare.gov enter some information, and your medications you will be shown the three least expensive plans that meet your needs.