Best Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans in 2024

These Medicare Part D plans stand out for member satisfaction and low premiums.
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Written by Alex Rosenberg
Lead Writer
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Edited by Holly Carey
Assigning Editor
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Medicare beneficiaries have many Medicare Part D prescription drug plan options, but only a couple of companies rise to the top. After analyzing plans covering nearly 90% of all stand-alone Medicare Part D members, we’ve picked the best of 2024 based on cost, quality, member satisfaction and more.

Original Medicare beneficiaries with Medicare Part A and/or Part B are eligible to buy a Part D plan to add prescription drug coverage. It's important to compare your options, as Part D plans’ premiums, cost-sharing requirements, coverage and quality ratings can change each year.

For 2024, Wellcare Part D has made some of the biggest changes by improving its star ratings and introducing $0-premium plans in certain locations, which no other company offers. AARP Medicare Part D plans from UnitedHealthcare are also solid performers, but cost more than Wellcare.

Here are NerdWallet’s picks for the best Medicare Part D plans for 2024.

45+ Medicare companies and brands analyzed by our team of experts.

30+ years of combined experience covering Medicare and personal finance.

Governed by NerdWallet's strict guidelines for editorial integrity.

NerdWallet’s Medicare content, including articles, reviews and recommendations, is produced by a team of writers and editors who specialize in Medicare. Their work has appeared in The Associated Press, Washington Post, Nasdaq, MSN, MarketWatch, Yahoo! Finance and other national and regional media outlets. They have been cited in publications including Healthline, and appeared on NerdWallet's "Smart Money" podcast.

Best for low premiums: Wellcare Medicare Part D

Wellcare Medicare Part D

Wellcare

3.5

CMS Star Rating

Wellcare’s Part D plans are inexpensive, and their quality ratings have improved significantly since previous years.

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Out-of-pocket costs

Varies


Member experience

4.0 (Above average)


Out-of-pocket costs

Varies


Member experience

4.0 (Above average)


Pros

  • Low prices, and even some $0-premium plans.
  • Quality ratings are much better than in previous years.
  • Multiple $0-deductible plan options.

Cons

  • Underperformed on ratings for online pricing accuracy and member complaints.
  • Coinsurance for brand-name drugs could be pricey.

Top quality measures that outperformed the national average

NerdWallet analysis of CMS data. 2024 Star Ratings Data Tables (Oct 13 2023) (ZIP). Accessed Mar 13, 2024.
:

  • Call center foreign language interpreter and TTY availability.

  • Getting needed prescription drugs.

  • Drug plan quality improvement.

Standout feature: Wellcare has the least expensive Medicare Part D plans on the market in 2024. In some locations, there’s even a Wellcare option with a $0 premium

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. CY2024_Landscape_Files_Final_20240314. Accessed Mar 13, 2024.
.

» MORE: Read our review of Wellcare Medicare Part D insurance

Best for member satisfaction: AARP/UnitedHealthcare Medicare Part D

AARP/UnitedHealthcare Medicare Part D

AARP/UnitedHealthcare

3.28

CMS Star Rating

AARP/UnitedHealthcare Medicare Part D plans are widely available and get average quality ratings from CMS. Premiums can get expensive, however, and ratings for helping members with their medications aren't as strong.

M-F 9am-9pm ET, Sa 10am-9pm ET

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We will match you with Medicare companies and offers based on the information you provide us. If you prefer to speak to a licensed insurance agent right away, please call the number listed above.

Out-of-pocket costs

Average


Member experience

2.94 (Average)


Out-of-pocket costs

Average


Member experience

2.94 (Average)


Pros

  • Available everywhere in the U.S. and in several U.S. territories.
  • Few complaints and few members choosing to leave.
  • Copays rather than coinsurance for Tier 1-3 drugs in most plans.

Cons

  • Competitors often offer cheaper plans.
  • Below-average ratings for helping members fill and manage prescriptions.
  • $0-copay options available only with the most expensive plan.

Top quality measures that outperformed the national average

NerdWallet analysis of CMS data. 2024 Star Ratings Data Tables (Oct 13 2023) (ZIP). Accessed Mar 13, 2024.
:

  • Drug plan quality improvement.

  • Call center foreign language interpreter and TTY availability.

  • Medicare plan finder price accuracy.

Standout feature: AARP/UnitedHealthcare Medicare Part D plans get few complaints, have few members that choose to leave and outperform several competitors on surveys about members’ experience with the plan.

💬 From our Nerds: What’s the best Medicare prescription drug plan for 2024?

"Based on my research, I found two top Medicare Part D companies in 2024. First, Wellcare’s Value Script plan makes a splash as the lowest-cost Part D plan on the market while also offering good star ratings. Second, AARP plans from UnitedHealthcare have a solid track record for quality.

"The best Part D plan for you is one that reliably covers your medications at a cost you can afford. It could be worth looking beyond Wellcare or UnitedHealthcare to find the right coverage, but there might be some compromises for cost and/or quality."

Alex Rosenberg, lead writer covering Medicare

Additional Medicare Part D companies

Humana Medicare Part D

Humana Medicare Part D

Humana

3

CMS Star Rating

Humana Medicare Part D plans tend to cost more than competitors' offerings, and they have average star ratings from CMS. Humana outperforms competitors on foreign language interpreter and TTY availability in call centers, but falls behind on most other quality measures.

M-F 9am-9pm ET, Sa 10am-9pm ET

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We will match you with Medicare companies and offers based on the information you provide us. If you prefer to speak to a licensed insurance agent right away, please call the number listed above.

Out-of-pocket costs

Varies


Member experience

2.5 (Below average)


Out-of-pocket costs

Varies


Member experience

2.5 (Below average)


Pros

  • $0 deductibles are available for drugs on multiple tiers with some plans.
  • Highest ratings for foreign language interpreter and TTY availability in call centers.

Cons

  • Prices tend to be higher than what competitors offer.
  • Below-average ratings on 9 out of 12 Part D quality measures.

Top quality measures that outperformed the national average

NerdWallet analysis of CMS data. 2024 Star Ratings Data Tables (Oct 13 2023) (ZIP). Accessed Mar 13, 2024.
:

  • Call center foreign language interpreter and TTY availability.

  • Few complaints about the drug plan.

  • Drug plan quality improvement.

Summary for 2024: Humana gets middle-of-the-road star ratings for its Medicare Part D plans in 2024. Prices are generally on the high side, but they can vary between states. Humana’s call center got top ratings for foreign language interpreter and TTY availability, so it could be a good option for members who might need those services.

» MORE: Read our review of Humana Medicare Part D insurance

Aetna Medicare Part D

Aetna Medicare Part D

Aetna

3

CMS Star Rating

Aetna no longer has the lowest Part D premiums on the market (that's Wellcare for 2024), but its prices are still lower than most, and some of its out-of-pocket costs have come down. The company gets average star ratings from CMS.

M-F 9am-9pm ET, Sa 10am-9pm ET

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We will match you with Medicare companies and offers based on the information you provide us. If you prefer to speak to a licensed insurance agent right away, please call the number listed above.

Out-of-pocket costs

Average


Member experience

2.5 (Below average)


Out-of-pocket costs

Average


Member experience

2.5 (Below average)


Pros

  • Premiums are lower than most competitors.
  • Identical cost-sharing for in-person and mail-order prescription fills.
  • The SmartSaver plan has a lower deductible and smaller copays than previous years.

Cons

  • No longer the cheapest on the market.
  • Weak ratings for helping members get and take medications.

Top quality measures that outperformed or tied the national average

NerdWallet analysis of CMS data. 2024 Star Ratings Data Tables (Oct 13 2023) (ZIP). Accessed Mar 13, 2024.
:

  • Call center foreign language interpreter and TTY availability.

  • Few members choosing to leave the drug plan.

  • Medication adherence for cholesterol (statins).

Summary for 2024: Aetna’s biggest differentiator in previous years has been its rock-bottom premiums, but Wellcare undercuts Aetna’s prices in 2024. Aetna’s premiums are lower than most other competitors, though, and some of its copays and deductibles are lower than in the past. Star ratings for 2024 are average.

» MORE: Read our review of Aetna Medicare Part D insurance

Cigna Medicare Part D

Cigna Medicare Part D

Cigna

2.73

CMS Star Rating

Cigna's quality ratings from CMS are lower for 2024, and all of its 2024 plans are at least 33% more expensive than the 2023 versions. But Cigna performs well on certain measures of customer experience, and all plans still have $0-copay options for Tier 1 drugs.

M-F 9am-9pm ET, Sa 10am-9pm ET

Speak to a licensed insurance agent on askchapter.org

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We will match you with Medicare companies and offers based on the information you provide us. If you prefer to speak to a licensed insurance agent right away, please call the number listed above.

Out-of-pocket costs

Average


Member experience

3.68 (Above average)


Out-of-pocket costs

Average


Member experience

3.68 (Above average)


Pros

  • Tier 1 generic drugs are available for $0 copays with all Cigna plans.
  • Cigna beats the industry average on the quality measures CMS uses to evaluate member experience.

Cons

  • Prices are significantly higher for all of Cigna's 2024 plans, and more drugs have coinsurance rather than copays.
  • Lowest copays might require ordering 90-day supplies by mail.

Top quality measures that outperformed or tied the national average

NerdWallet analysis of CMS data. 2024 Star Ratings Data Tables (Oct 13 2023) (ZIP). Accessed Mar 13, 2024.
:

  • Medicare plan finder price accuracy.

  • Rating of drug plan.

  • Medication adherence for cholesterol (statins).

Summary for 2024: All of Cigna’s Medicare Part D plans are significantly more expensive in 2024, and their quality ratings from CMS have declined. But they beat many competitors on certain measures of member experience, and $0-copay options for Tier 1 generic drugs could be attractive.

» MORE: Read our review of Cigna Medicare Part D insurance

What’s the best way to compare Part D plans?

Unlike Medicare Part A and Part B, Part D plans are sold by private insurance companies, and the plans’ costs, benefits and other features can vary significantly. First, confirm whether a plan covers your prescription drugs, then consider each potential plan option’s strengths and weaknesses.

NerdWallet compares and chooses the best Medicare Part D plans based on factors including quality ratings from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), prices, cost-sharing requirements, formulary design and more. The best plans offer lower costs and higher ratings for quality and member satisfaction.

Find the right Medicare Part D prescription drug plan

The interactive tool on Medicare.gov can help you find a Medicare Part D plan that covers your prescriptions. It also helps you compare costs among Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plans available to you.

Here are some things to keep in mind when comparing plans:

  • Check the formulary: You’ll want to make sure the medicines you currently take and, importantly, any you think you might need in the future, are covered under each of the plans you’re considering. Talk to your health care providers about what brand-name and generic medicines to look for and any alternatives that may also work in case you can’t find your current medicines on the plans available in your area.

  • Look for plan changes: Formularies change frequently. Your insurer should send you a Notice of Plan Change when the formulary changes. Read that document carefully.

  • Check the pharmacy network: Most Medicare Part D plans negotiate with a network of pharmacies for the lowest cost. Check to see if your pharmacy or an equally convenient one is in the plan’s network. Also, compare prices for using mail order.

If your plan does change, and the change affects the prescription drugs you need, you can switch plans during Medicare's open enrollment period, Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. Changes go into effect on the following Jan. 1.

If you have additional questions about Medicare, visit Medicare.gov or call 800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227, TTY 877-486-2048).

Medicare Part D plan review methodology

NerdWallet’s Medicare Part D reviews are based on ratings data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), pricing, cost-sharing requirements, formulary design, consumer experience and more.

NerdWallet reviewed seven Medicare Part D insurance companies based on highest enrollment and greatest online search volume. Together, these seven companies cover just under 90% of Medicare beneficiaries with stand-alone Medicare Part D plans, according to CMS data. We review at least five major Medicare Part D companies in every state in the United States.

These reviews are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several plans to find the best coverage and rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines for additional information.