Why Compare Part D Plans Annually?

Why Compare Part D Plans Annually?

What is Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D)?           

Prescription drug coverage is available to everyone who is enrolled in Part A and Part B of Medicare.  You have two options for getting your Part D coverage: Why Compare Part D Plans Annually?

  • Buy a stand-alone prescription drug plan (PDP)
  • You can enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan that already includes prescription drug coverage.

If you do not sign up for a PDP when you are first eligible, you will have to pay a penalty every year for the duration of Part D.  It is also important that you be a resident in the service area of the drug plan you are planning to enroll in, as plan vary by geographic location. Why Compare Part D Plans Annually?

What is the cost for Part D coverage?        

Cost is one of the most important factors in signing up for Part D.  Finding the right plan can save you big bucks!  Your actual costs may vary depending on:

  1. which prescription drugs you take and if they are found on your plan’s list of covered drugs (formulary);
  2. which “tier” your prescription drug is in. Prescription drugs are categorized into tiers, the lower the tier, the less expensive the drug;
  3. which plan you enroll in;
  4. how you get your drugs, i.e. in-network, out-of-network, mail order, retail pharmacy;
  5. whether you get “extra help” or not. This is a Medicare program that assists those persons with limited income and resources pay for their prescription drug costs.

Please note that plan costs may change each year, which is why it is crucial to compare your Part D plans annually.

How Do You Compare Part D Plans?

The simplest way to compare your prescription drug plan to other plans is to call Medicare

(1-800-633-4227), TTY users,1-877-486-2048. However, during busy times you may be on hold for quite a while.  Another alternative is to compare the plans yourself by viewing the Medicare Plan Finder at Medicare.gov/find-a-plan TTY users, 1-877-486-2048.  Here is a step-by-step guide to comparing Part D plans. And, below, there are quick and easy steps to run a comparison report:

  • Click on the Find Health and Drug Plans found halfway down the page;
  • Enter your zip code and click on Find Plans – more than one county may come up and in that case, select your county;
  • Choose one of the choices under the two questions that appear on the following page, then click Continue to Plan Results;
  • Enter your medications into the box and click on Find My Drug. A list of several drugs might appear with the various dosages.  Choose the one that pertains to you;
  • When you are finished entering your medications, click on My Drug List is Complete;
  • Various pharmacies may appear – choose your preferred one. You may extend the zip code to search a greater distance;
  • Click “Continue to Plan Results”.
  • Check the box for “Prescription Drug Plans”, then click “Continue to Plan Results”.
  • On the next screen, you will see “Original Medicare” listed first. You can skip that.
  • Under “Prescription Drug Plans”, you will find a list of the plans that are available to you. They range in order from the lowest estimated annual cost, which comprises premiums, deductibles and co-pays based on the medications on your drug list at the pharmacy you selected.
  • You can select up to three plans and click “Compare Plans”. You can also just click on the plan you want more information on without comparing it to any others.
  • Once you view a comparison of the plans you have selected, you can print these plans by clicking on Print Comparison Report found under the drug coverage section halfway down the page.

By following the steps above and running your Part D comparison, you may be able to find a cost-effective plan that will result in substantial savings in your pocket.  You will be able to see the difference between utilizing generic drugs instead of brand name drugs, as well as choosing your preferred way of buying your medications, i.e. retail pharmacy or mail order company. Why Compare Part D Plans Annually?

Why Compare Part D Plans Annually?

Why Compare Part D Plans Annually?

about the author

Garrett Ball

Garrett is the founder/President of Secure Medicare Solutions, a leading, independent Medicare insurance agency. Since 2007, Garrett has worked with tens of thousands of people turning 65 or already on Medicare to understand, compare and choose Medicare insurance that fits their specific needs and situation.

His latest project is 65Medicare.org, an online hub for people just starting with Medicare, which is focused on distilling difficult Medicare questions into easy-to-understand resources.

Garrett resides in North Carolina with his lovely wife, Celeste, and three spirited children.

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