Posted By: CFP&WM On: Nov 28th, 2012 In: Insurance/risk mitigation Money Matters

Shopping for Medicare Part D Drug Plan 2013

Many Medicare beneficiaries are not aware that the open enrollment period for the Medicare Part D Drug plans is happening NOW. You have until December 7th to determine if it is to your benefit to change plans, which could save you money.

Why shop for a Part D plan?

There are many reasons you cannot assume that the plan you are on now will be the best one for you in 2013 including;

  1. Increased monthly premium.
  2. Increased deductible amount.
  3. Changes in what drugs the plans cover and how well they cover them.
  4. Changes in the medications you take.
  5. Your plan may no longer be offered. In this case if you do nothing you will be enrolled in another plan that most likely will not be the best suited for you.

In 2013 both Health Net and Community CCRx will no longer offer Part D plans of any type. If you are enrolled in one of their plans you need to comparison shop for a new plan now.

When reviewing plans for clients for 2013, we have found an average savings of $1,100 per year.

Getting Help

If you have Internet access, you can compare Medicare’s drug plans online. Go to Medicare’s “Plan Finder Tool” at www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan, and type in your personal information (from your Medicare Card), the drugs you take and dosages, select the pharmacies you use and you’ll get a cost comparison breakdown (“estimated annual drug cost”) for each plan available in your area.

If you are not able to do a comparison yourself, consider asking someone in your family or a friend to help you, or you can call Medicare at 800-633-4227 and they will do it for you over the phone.

Comparing Plans

When comparing drug plans, don’t choose a plan just based on the monthly premium. Low-premium plans often have higher prescription co-payments and could end up being more expensive. Look at the “estimated annual drug costs” which is how much you can expect to pay for the entire year in total out-of-pocket costs, including; premiums, deductibles and co-pays.

Be certain to verify that the plan you’re considering covers all of the drugs you take with no restrictions. Some plans require you to get prior approval for a particular drug or have “step therapy” where you must try a number of cheaper drugs before they will cover certain prescriptions.

Deadline to change plans December 7

If you currently have a Medicare Part D plan it is critical that you shop for the best plan now.

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