2013 Medicare Part D Premiums – will they increase?
Medicare beneficiaries are scrambling to compare 2013 Medicare Part D prescription drug plans. The annual enrollment period (AEP) runs from October 15 through December 7th.
Insurance companies that offer Medicare Part D plans can adjust their plans on an annual basis. The AEP is your opportunity to determine whether or not you would like to keep your current Part D plan or whether you should shop and compare Medicare Part D plans.
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The “moving parts” of Medicare Part D
When comparing 2013 Medicare Advantage Plans it’s important to look beyond the monthly premium. There are several aspects that can affect how much you pay for your prescription drugs.
- The monthly premium is an obvious contributor to cost.
- Whether or not the plan has an annual deductible can affect your prescription drug costs.
- Co-payments can vary from plan to plan.
- What “tier” a drug is listed in can vary from plan to plan.
- The plan’s drug formulary itself can affect your overall costs.
It’s important to understand the overall picture as it relates to your Medicare Part D costs. Just because a plan has, what seems to be a reasonable premium, it doesn’t mean that it will necessarily cost you the least amount of money.
Many Medicare Part D Plans have included an annual deductible. Deductibles for 2013 can be as much as $325.
It’s wise to look beyond the monthly premiums and c0-pays to see what drug tiers your prescriptions fall in. Just because one plan categorizes a prescription as tier two, does not mean that another plan will do the same.
The dreaded donut hole
The coverage gap or donut hole can put a real dent in your budget. You reach the coverage gap after the total prescription costs paid by you and the plan reaches $2930. Once in the donut hole your brand name drugs will be discounted 52.5% and generics 21%.
Compare the mail order pharmacy benefit as well. You can generally save some money with a three month supply delivered through the mail.
The resource that can help you make sense of it it all is the official Medicare website. Once on the website you can compare plans in your area to determine which may be right for you. This is your best and most objective resource to compare 2013 Medicare Part D prescription drug plans.