Medicare helps pay for your prescription drug costs. However, drug coverage is not automatic like hospital coverage and doctor coverage (Parts A & B). If you want prescription drug coverage you must enroll in a Medicare Part D plan.
As you might be aware, the most wide sweeping changes to Medicare in recent history revolve around Part D coverage. This is because the most frequently heard concern among Medicare recipients has to do with the rising cost of prescription drugs and drug coverage insurance.
The most important fact for new seniors to know is that you cannot be turned down for Plan D coverage during your Individual Enrollment Period (IEP) when you turn 65. However, if you don’t enroll in Plan D during your IEP, your rate could be significantly higher when you need to enroll later. This is critical insurance that’s available at a minimal cost.
Starting in 2012, Medicare Part D members pay only eighty-six percent of the cost for their generic drugs and approximately fifty percent of the cost for brand-name drugs when they hit their coverage gap. A small fee for dispensing may also apply. Here’s the good news. The savings that started in 2012 will continue until the doughnut hole gap is completely closed in 2020.
Be sure you know what pharmacies your Part D plan works with. Pharmacy agreements are different with each drug plan, so read the details when you shop. It’s important to realize that many plans impose strict geographic limitations, including state borders. Many plans offer nationwide coverage. So, if you plan to travel, be sure you choose a plan that provides use of all pharmacies.
Drug Plan Premiums
All insurance companies establish their own rates. As a result, prescription drug plan monthly premiums will vary significantly, so it’s important to shop and compare before you choose. When you compare rates using our plan comparison tool, you get an accurate quote based on your zip code, prescription drugs, and drug dosage. This is an exclusive feature offered by Medicare E-Compare.
Also, be aware that all insurance providers post new rates each October. So, be sure to check your Plan D rates every year before open enrollment.