If you are getting ready for the Annual Enrollment Period and want some basic information so you can compare Medicare 2013 Part D plans for you need to be aware of recent changes. Having updated information on regulations related to Part D plans is essential to ensure that you are choosing the best plan.
Standard Medicare Part D Benefit Parameters for 2013
This is the simple part. Benefit parameters are nearly the same as 2012.
- Plans can include a deductible of $325.
- Initial coverage limit is $2970
- Out-of-pocket threshold is $4750.
- Minimum co-pays (catastrophic Portion of benefit) is $2.65 for generic/preferred and $6.60 for all other drugs.
There is not much changing in the benefit parameters. Since Part D is a federally regulated program all Part D Medicare plans have the same limits.
Medicare Part D coverage gap for 2013
In 2013 you will receive a 52.5% discount on your name brand drugs and a 21% discount on generics while in the coverage gap. If you have reached the coverage gap you know that saving 52.5% on your name brand drugs can be a significant savings.
It’s been estimated that the average premium for a Medicare Part D plan will remain the same or be slightly lower for 2013 plans. Nationally the average plan has a $34 monthly premium.
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Comparing Medicare Part D plans – what to consider
Most States will have at least a couple dozen Part D plans to choose from. You will see recognizable plans such as AARP Medicare Part D and Humana Medicare Part D plans as well as a host of plans that you may never heard of. Here are some tips to remember when shopping for a Medicare Part D Plan:
- Medicare Part D plans are annual plans, and unless you are dis-enrolling from a Medicare Advantage you will have the plan through the end of the year.
- Make sure your drugs are included in the plan’s formulary.
- Determine which tier a drug is in and compare that to other plans. Sometimes, one plan will have a drug in tier 2, while another company will place the same drug in tier 3.
- Look at the entire picture, a low premium can be less attractive if you are required to pay a $325 annual deductible.
- Make sure your pharmacy will accept the plan.
The easiest way to compare Medicare Part D plans for 2013 is online. Once you find a Part D plan you can generally submit the application online and avoid meeting with an agent.