Things to Consider When Choosing a Medicare Part D Plan
Medical Insurance

All Plans Are Not Created Equal. Things to Consider When Choosing a Medicare Part D Plan.


With so many options available, many of America's Medicare eligible senior population are finding it challenging to navigate through the selection and enrollment process of the Medicare Part D program. Since there are so many options available it is important for each Medicare eligible senior to evaluate their individual circumstances when choosing a plan. However, there are some standard things to look for when choosing a plan that can apply to all seniors.

1. Spend some time comparing a list of your medications to the plans formulary listing. The formulary listing will tell the amount of money that you will spend for each prescription. The formulary listing will vary with each company that is providing Medicare Part D benefit so it is important to look closely. You may find that some of your prescriptions may not be covered at all on some plans or may be cheaper for you on some plans versus others. Since it is hard to anticipate the medications you could be taking in the future it is also important to consider the the number drugs that are covered on the formulary. Most will tell you the number of the "top 100" drugs prescribed to Medicare members that they include on their formulary. This number is worth giving some thought.

2. Can you utilize your current pharmacy? It is important for you to check ahead of time to make sure that your pharmacy is a participating pharmacy with the companies you are considering. While most do include the major pharmacies in their network there is not guarantee so make sure to check prior to enrolling in a plan.

3. Once you are familiar with the formulary listing for the plans you are considering you can estimate the out of pocket costs you could potentially have with each plan. Consider if there are features like a deductible or coverage gap or options such as low cost unlimited generics. All are factors to consider when evaluating your options.

4. Do you have any experience with the insurance carriers? While many advise looking at the costs for the plans it is also important to consider factors like customer service, stability of carrier, and any added benefits available when choosing your Medicare Part D plan. If you've had prior health insurance coverage from any of the carriers, or know someone who has, consider the level of customer support that they had during that time and the tools and resources that the company made available to them. This could be a good indicator of the level of service you will receive as a member of their Medicare Part D plan. This is very important, especially considering that the Medicare Part D plan is a new option and there are many questions that could arise after enrollment.

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