Given today’s sky rocketing drug costs not having a Part D plan can be financial suicide and not doing your homework or not understanding how your Part D plan works can also create a financial hardship.
Enrolling in the right drug plan requires that you understand how the Part D program works as well as being aware of the individual aspects of the Florida Medicare Part D plans you are considering.
First it’s important to understand the changes to the Part D Standard Benefit Model for 2012 as well as the benefits brought about by health care reform legislation.
Second, it’s necessary that you are aware of all the possible variables between Part D plans available in Florida.
This article will review the features of plans that can effect your overall costs and point you in the right direction to learn about all available Medicare drug plans in Florida for 2012.
Compare Medicare Plans Without Submitting Your Info Online – Call (888) 310-0376
Florida Medicare Part D plan variables
Too many people don’t take the time to research Part D plans thoroughly before enrolling. Often times a plan is chosen based on monthly premium or on a recommendation from a friend or family member. Although well intentioned unless a recommendation is made with full knowledge of your circumstances including all current medications it may not be the right Part D solution.
The following is a list of Part D plan variables:
- The obvious variable is the monthly premium. In 2011 there were 32 Part D plans available in Florida and monthly premium varied widely. The plan with the lowest monthly premium was Humana Walmart-Preferred Rx (PDP) at $14.80. The plan with the highest monthly premium was BlueMedicare Rx-Option 2 (PDP) at $119.70.
- For 2012 Part D annual deductibles can range from $0 to $320. The deductible must be paid before the plan pays any portion of your prescription costs.
- Copayments and coinsurance amounts can vary from plan to plan. Take note that it’s much harder to calculate annual drug costs for plans that require coinsurance amounts. Without knowing what an insurance company pays for an individual drug it’s not possible to calculate your share of the costs. Also recognize that some plans will give you a lower copayment amount if you use preferred pharmacies.
- The list of drugs covered by a plan is called the plan’s Part D formulary and it is the most important aspect of a Part D plan. The formulary will also indicate which tiers drugs are listed in. Be aware that not all Florida Medicare Part D plans will list an individual drug in the same tier. One company may list a drug in tier 2 while another places the same drug in tier 3. This can have a big impact on your overall drug costs.
- There are also differences in mail order pharmacy programs. For instance some plans will will include tier 1 drugs at a $0 copay.
- One variable between Florida Medicare drug plans not often thought about is the rating assigned by Medicare. Star rating for Florida plans in 2011 ranged from 2.5 stars to 5 stars. Only two plans were awarded the 5 star rating by Medicare. The plans were; Medco Medicare Prescription Plan – Value (PDP) at $49.80 per month with a $320 deductible and Medco Medicare Prescription Plan – Choice (PDP) with a $70.20 premium and a $250 deductible.
- The network of available pharmacies can also be a consideration for some people, although it would make sense to change pharmacies to get a better plan.
Once you take all of the variables into consideration you can easily compare Florida Part D plans and choose the plan that is best suited to your circumstances.