Finding the best Medicare Part D Plans
You know that you need to choose a Medicare Part D Plan, but are confronted with dozens of choices. Finding Medicare Part D Plans is not that difficult if you know where to look and know what you’re looking for.
It’s hard to make a choice if you only rely on television commercials or direct mail that seems to be delivered by the truck load this time of year. The large well known carries are hammering away. AARP Medicare Part D, Humana Part D, Cigna part D, Wellcare Part D and many others seem to dominate the airwaves. But are they the best choice?
When it comes to finding Medicare Part D Plans, it’s wise to use your official resources. The Medicare Publication, Medicare And You and the official Medicare Website are a great resource to look at all your options.
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Evaluating Medicare Part D Plans
Many people make the mistake of only looking at the monthly premium and then assume that the lowest premium is the best value. But there are several factors to consider beyond the monthly premium for Medicare Part D Plans. Other factors that you should consider include:
- The Plans co-pays. Co-pays can vary from one Part D Plan to another. These differences can make a difference in your overall annual costs.
- Whether or not there is an annual deductible. Medicare Part D Plans can include an annual deductible up to $310 for 2010.
- Which tier your individual prescriptions are in. Having a low monthly premium and having some of your prescriptions listed in a higher more expense tier than another Medicare part D Plan may cost you more over the course of the year.
- Whether or not all your drugs are included in the plan’s formulary. If a drug is not in the formulary, you will be paying for it out of pocket.
- Is there some coverage in the coverage gap (donut hole)? Several plans include some level of coverage in the donut hole. These plans will normally have a little higher premium, but it may be worth the higher cost if you know that you will more than likely reach the donut hole.
As you can see, there are several other factors that need to be considered when you are trying to find the best Medicare Part D Plan. Take the opportunity to utilize the official resources that are available.
Also, evaluate the Medicare Part D Plan that is included in a Medicare Advantage Plan. If your prescriptions are a large part of you annual health care cost, you should evaluate the Part D plan in an Advantage Plan just as you would a stand alone Medicare Part D Plan.