- Medicare Part D is the portion that covers prescription drugs.
- Medicare Part D plans are sold through private insurance companies, but are approved annually by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and must meet certain minimum standards set annually by CMS.
- You must be in a valid registration period to register for a Part D plan.
- This happens when you are 65 years of age (or you first switch to Medicare), when you lose other coverage (e.g., group coverage), or during the annual election period (October 15 to December 7 per year).
- It is prudent to periodically Compare Medicare Part D plans as plans change annually, along with their drugs, needs, etc.
- Part D plans vary considerably in terms of premiums, deductible and co-pay. In addition, many diets have certain pharmacy networks that offer preferential prices.
- Therefore, it is imperative to compare the diets in Part D based on the medications you are taking and where you plan to buy these drugs.
How to Compare Medicare Part D plans
Once you know the basics of Part D and how it works, you can take the necessary steps to compare the plans. This allows you to make an informed decision. Plans can vary considerably. In addition, all medications are different, so what is good for your neighbor, yoga partner or even spouse may not be suitable for your situation. In addition, the plans in Part D change over time, so it is advisable to compare at least every two years.
So how does it compare? There are several options for comparing plans. First of all, you can call health insurance at 1-800-MEDICARE. The health insurance representative will ask you for information, including your postal code, drug names and doses, and the preferred pharmacy.
Based on this information, you can review the options that would give you the lowest annual prescription costs. This information can be extremely useful to save money on recipes. The only drawback is that during periods of high volume of the year there may be long waiting times to talk to a Medicare representative.
The second way to compare the diets of Part D — and probably the easiest — is to do a comparison of Part D on Medicare.gov yourself. The Medicare site may be a bit overwhelming, but all the information you need to perform a thorough comparison can be found there. Below we have listed step-by-step instructions on how to make your own comparison with Part D:
- Go to Medicare website, Medicare.gov.Compare plans for part d
- Click on the green button on the left side, in the middle of the page, which says “Find health plans and medicines.”
- Enter your postal code and click on “Find Plans”. If your postal code covers more than one county, you will also need to select your county. Answer both questions on the next page and click “Continue to schedule results”.
- Enter the names and doses of your medications and add them to your list. Then click on “My drug list is complete.” Select your favorite pharmacy from the list of nearby pharmacies or in your postal code.
- You can extend the kilometer radius if you do not see your favorite pharmacy on the list. Click on “Continue with plan results”. Check the box “Prescription drug regimens” and click “Continue with plan results”.
- On the next screen you will see “Original Health Insurance” in the list first. You can ignore that. Then, under “Prescription Drug Diets,” you will see the diets that are available to you.
- They are listed in order of the lowest estimated annual cost, which takes into account premiums, deductibles and cocountries for the medicines you have listed in your chosen pharmacy.
- You can select three planes and click on “Compare Plans”. Or click to download the step-by-step instructions part d, you can click on the name of a specific plan and find more information about that plan.
- You can also register directly on the Medicare website or by calling the plan directly.
If you want to see a visual guide on how to Compare Medicare Part D plans, this video can help you: Medicare Part D Comparison Video Tutorial.
Why Should I Compare Medicare Part D plans?
That is, you should compare because it can save you money. Instead of simply choosing a plan that your neighbor or spouse has, or has their medications on the form, or whose premium is low, comparing the overall annual costs allows you to choose a plan that will give you the lowest annual cost in a year based on your specific needs.
The plans in Part D of medicare change every year. In some years, these changes are minimal — the premium may change slightly or new drugs will be added or removed from the list of covered drugs. However, it is beneficial to remain “aware” of these changes and to make a change in the protection of Part D if it is economically advantageous to do so. Keep in mind that with Part D of Medicare, you will have an initial choice period to choose a 7-month plan. This is the month you’re 65 years old and three months on either side of this month.
If you have any questions about comparing Part D plans or would like to talk to someone over the phone, do not hesitate to contact us at 1(877)255-0284.