In Medicare, your prescription drug coverage will come either from your Medicare Advantage Plan or your Part D, Prescription Drug Coverage, plan. Reviewing either is easy. Both types of plans are required to provide you with a list of the drugs you use and their costs, as well as the costs of all drugs that the plan covers. You can use this list to see what the costs would be with another plan. You should also consider whether you might be eligible for other programs Medicare offers to assist you with prescription costs. These are described briefly at the end of this blog entry.
Once you have the cost information in hand, you can see if you can get a better deal from another plan. Medicare offers a plan comparison tool at Medicare Plan Finder. Among the things to consider are these:
What Can I Do Within My Current Plan?
Even if switching plans will not afford you substantial savings, there are things you can do within your current plan to save money. The first is to use generics whenever possible. Generic drugs are identical to brand-name drugs but often cost far, far less. You can ask your doctor to prescribe a generic if you are on a brand-name drug. In some states, pharmacists can automatically switch you to a generic if it will save you money.
You can also use drug discount cards. Many pharmacies accept them with Medicare Advantage and Part D plans. Examples include GoodRX and Singlecare. These cards are usually free.
Keep in Mind…
- There is no “perfect” plan. You should be looking to minimize your costs; not find the lowest price for every drug you do or might take.
- Plans are limited in geographic area. A near-perfect plan may exist, but not be available to you.
- Unless you have a change in circumstances, you will be able to switch plans only during the open enrollment periods, which are January 1 – March 21, 2022, for Medicare Advantage Plans and October 15-December 7, 2021, for Medicare Part D plans.
- If you are out of the “donut hole” and into catastrophic coverage (have spent more than $6,550 out of pocket on Part D costs in one plan year), make sure that the pharmacy is aware of this and that you are paying no more than the catastrophic coverage costs for your drugs.
To learn more about reviewing your Part D prescription drug plan, give us a call today. We’re always happy to help you make sure you’re getting the coverage you need!