Basic Medicare Part D plans with monthly premiums below the California average are referred to as benchmark plans. The premium for these plans in California is $36.23 in 2017. The full Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) program covers the premium and deductible of benchmark plans. This means you do not pay a premium or deductible if you receive the full LIS benefit and enroll in a benchmark plan. You are, however, still responsible for copayments of $3.30-$8.25 for each covered prescription.
If you enroll in a Medicare Part D plan with premiums higher than the benchmark, you will pay the difference between the subsidy ($36.23) and the plan’s premium. See a complete description of plans.