There are two main types of drug benefits, Basic and Enhanced. Basic offers the defined standard drug benefits or an actuarially equivalent variation of the standard, and Enhanced offers value beyond the minimum required.

More specifically, there are three variations of basic, Defined Standard (DS)Actuarially Equivalent (AE)Basic Alternative (BA), and then one enhanced type called  Enhanced Alternative (EA). They work like this:

  • Defined Standard (DS) is standard benefits (see below).
  • Actuarially Equivalent (AE) and Basic Alternative (BA) are variations of standard benefits that are equivalent in terms of value (“actuarially equivalent”).
  • Enhanced Alternative (EA) is a variation that provides more value (typically in return for a higher premium).

Click the links above for more details on each type, or see our Medicare Part D plan benefit type page for details.