What Does Part D Cost For 2013?

2013 Part D premiums vary widely but that’s not the only factor to consider 2012 Part D Calendar

The cost of living is through the roof, your investments are taking a hit and you’re probably not getting a raise in your Social Security. Now is the time to compare 2013 Part D plans in order to find the plan that will cost you the least and still cover all your required drugs.

2013 Part D premiums range from less than $20 to over $100 per month. But in order to accurately assess plans for total annual cost you will need to dig a little deeper.

This article will point you in the right direction regarding the factors that you need to take into consideration to find the Medicare Part D plan with the lowest overall cost.

Comparing Part D plans to determine your costs

Part D plans are State specific so what your friend or family member in another State may have is not relevant. Not only can premiums vary form State to State but the Part D formulary can be different as well.
When comparing plans consider these factors:

  • More important than premium is the plan’s formulary. The Part D formulary is the list of drugs covered by a specific plan. Formularies vary from plan to plan. A plan’s formulary is also the major determinant of monthly premium. The drugs covered by a plan directly relate to overall cost, either in increased monthly premium or the cost of paying for a drug if it is not included in the formulary.
  • Whether or not a Part D plan for 2012 has a deductible will also factor into your overall cost. The allowable amount for a deductible has increased $5 in 2013 to $325. Medicare Part D plans may have a deductible ranging from $0 to $325.
  • Copayment and coinsurance amounts must be factored into a plan’s cost. Some plans such as Humana Walmart-Preferred Rx (PDP) will have a lower copay if you use preferred pharmacies.
  • Some plans will offer a mail order pharmacy option that can save you money by providing your tier 1 drugs at a $0 copay. It’s smart to use a mail order option for all drugs that you regularly are required to take. You will generally receive 3 months supply for what you would pay for 2 months supply at a retail pharmacy.


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2013 Part D initial coverage limit, coverage gap and catastrophic coverage

Since the Medicare Part D program is regulated by the federal government some aspects of Part D plans will be the same from plan to plan. The maximum deductible amount, the initial Part D coverage limit, when you reach the coverage gap and when you reach the catastrophic coverage phase will be the same from plan to plan.

Recent health care reform will give you some relief if you reach the Part D donut hole. Your brand name drug will be covered 47.5% and your generic drugs will cost you 79% of the normal price.

To compare plans you can shop online or visit the Medicare website and navigate to available plans in your State. Taking all of the above factors into consideration will allow you to take all costs into consideration when you compare 2013 Part D plans.

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  1. Why is it that every year we have to go searching for plans available, and then, when we find them, we cannot get the prices for the plans. They hide everything.

  2. Dorothy, I agree the every year thing does get old. But that’s the way the legislation was written (and don’t count on it getting any better!). The part D plans for 2012 will not be published by carriers or on the Medicare site until October 1st. after that time you can search http://www.medicare.gov and easily see all prices.

  3. The risks concern the drugs not currently taken. A plan can be chosen that best meets current drug usage, but that plan may not cover newly prescribed drugs at any level during the upcoming year. Does one usually have the option to upgrade a plan from a given provider if drug needs change?

  4. Gary, I don’t believe what upgrading plans with the same company is permitted. Changing Part D during the course of the year is not permitted unless you are entitled to a Special Enrollment Period. Two examples of which would be receiving extra help in the form of a low income subsidy and moving from a service area.

  5. The process of picking the “right” plan becomes a crap shoot. To quote a famous (infamous) politician “we don’t know what we don’t know”. One needs to compare the extent of the formulary drug coverage across plans and take that into account when choosing a plan. That is a very difficult task.

  6. Gary, I agree. Yet no one seems to yearn for the days prior to 2006 when Part D was but a dream of drug company executives!

  7. I have not received the formulary booklet or any other 2012 information from First Health as of today, Dec. 1, 2011.

  8. Linda, You should either call your agent, the company or visit the website to download the information.

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