CMS Finalizes Medicare Prescription Drug Pricing Rule. Last week, CMS finalized a rule that will improve the transparency of prescription drug costs in Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage health plans and lower beneficiary out-of-pocket costs. For example, beginning in 2021, the Explanation of Benefits that Part D plans send members must display drug price increases as well as lower cost therapeutic alternatives. In addition, beginning in 2020, Part D sponsors cannot prohibit or penalize a pharmacy from disclosing a lower cash price to an enrollee. About 70 percent of rural Medicare beneficiaries had prescription drug coverage in 2017, mostly through stand-alone Part D plans as opposed to Medicare Advantage plans.