Compare 2014 Medicare Drug Plans

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Premiums are not the only thing to consider when you compare 2014 Medicare drug plansCheck List to Compare 2014 Medicare Drug Plans

The Annual Enrollment Period for Part D Plans with a 2014 effective date begins October 15, 2013 and ends December 7, 2013 at midnight.

This article will give you some tips to help you compare 2014 Medicare drug plans. Getting it right the first time is vitally important as there are very limited opportunities to change plans after the enrollment period has ended.

Medicare drug plans – what are the costs?

When most people begin to compare Part D drug plans they first focus in on the monthly premiums of plans available. Although the premium is important it is not the best place to start.

When comparing Medicare drug plans start with the plan formulary. The formulary is the list of drugs covered by the plan and also includes information about the tier that each covered drug has been listed in.

Starting with the formulary makes sense because if your drugs are not covered you are doing your research in vain. You would not go to the grocery store and compare the price of bananas if you don’t like or are allergic to bananas. So don’t compare drug plans that may not meet your needs either.

AARP Prescription Drugs – AARP Formulary Information

Once you find a plan or plans that include your prescriptions consider these costs:

  • The monthly premium
  • Copays or coinsurance for each tier
  • Whether or not a deductible must be met
  • Compare which tiers different companies list specific drugs
  • Consider if coverage is included while you are in the donut hole
  • Compare the costs of mail order if you intend to use that feature

Keep in mind that 2014 Part D plans that include an expanded formulary will have a much higher monthly premium than those that offer a standard formulary. But if you require the medications in an expanded formulary that is the way you should go.

Also recognize that for Medicare Part D drug plans you will receive a discount if you reach the coverage gap. The gap is reached after you and the plan have spent $2850 on prescription drugs.

Once in the coverage gap all plans will at least discount brand name drugs 52% and generic drugs 28%. This is part the the health care reform legislation package. After total costs by both you and the plan have reached $4550 you will enter the catastrophic phase of your Part D Plan.

When you look at the big picture you can compare 2014 Medicare drug plans with confidence and know that you are getting the best plan for your money.


 

10 comments

  1. I need to know if the 2012 formulary will cover my COMTAN 200MG. I see my CARBIDOPA/LEVADOPA is covered. If the
    COMTAN 200MG is not covered, I need to make other arrangements for coverages for all 3 of these drugs.
    Thank You,
    Anna M Capt

  2. Anna, The 2012 Medicare part d formularies will be released on October 1. If your current Part D plan does not cover Comtan 200MG you would be smart to look for a plan that does.

  3. David, this is one of the best Part D pages I have seen in years. Your How to Compare Plans page is concise and full of common sense. Thank you

  4. Linda, Your welcome. Thanks for the kind words!

  5. I take accolate 20 mg, x2 a day. For 2012, it is not listed in my blue cross prescription plus plan. Which drug plans in Illinois will cover it.

  6. Padma, The easiest way to find out if Accolate 20mg is covered by a Part D plan is to visit the Medicare website and choose, Compare Drug and Health Plans. Follow the on-screen prompts and enter Accolate to filter plans in Illinois that will cover it.

  7. getting ready to retire,so confused with insurance coverage! Part A,B,C,D, what the hay!!! all i want to know is what will pay for my Tenormin?

  8. sarastrobel, Visit medicare.gov and do a search for plans. you will be asked to enter your drugs. Results will be filtered to include plans that include your meds. To protect yourself you should really know more than the coverage for a certain drug. Sign up for our free mini-course to better understand what your options are.

  9. My husband Wesley gets MOST of his drugs from VA. I only take generic blood pressure and cholesterol meds that cost 3.99 for three months supplies (that is each drug). We need
    plan that would cover our immediate needs on drugs that are not covered by the above. We have walmart right now – deds 310.00 ded but we have never used. Money down the drain.

    What plan would you recommend for us. We’re very confused with all the plans on the market right now.

    Thanks and God bless.

  10. Elena, I would recommend meeting with a representative from your local Area Council on Aging office. You need someone to address your confusion about plans and learn more about your needs to give you a credible recommendation.

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