You may have noticed that a new Part D plan is available. The Reader’s Digest Value Rx plan is another example of an insurance company partnering with a popular and recognizable brand to get a leg up on the competition.
The Reader’s Digest branded Part D plan is made available through a partnership between HealthMarkets Insurance company and the Reader’s Digest Association.
The Reader’s Digest Association and Humana have also partnered to market a Medicare Advantage plan; the Reader’s Digest Healthy Living Plan.
This type of arrangement is really no different than the one that exists between AARP and United Healthcare. In both cases an insurance company is counting on being able to capitalize on the relationship another company or organization has with its members or subscribers.
This is not HealthMarkets first entry into the Medicare market. In 2007 they introduced Care Assured but pulled out of the market after only one year. Maybe they will have more success with their new partnership arrangement.
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The Reader’s Digest Value Rx PDP is considered a basic Part D plan. Most companies offer a Basic and an enhanced plan. The main difference between the two is the plan’s formulary.
A formulary is the list of drugs that are covered by a plan as well as information relating to which tiers specific drugs are placed in.
This plan is offered in all States except New York.
Plan features include:
- Monthly premium varies by State from Mid $20’s to upper $30’s
- $325 annual deductible
- Co-pays as low as $1
- 63,000+ pharmacies
- No extra gap coverage
Other than a marketing brochure found online touting discounts on a subscription to Reader’s Digest and discounts on health related products, information is in short supply.
The official Medicare website lists the plan as Too New to be Rated, so no star rating is given and a link to a website about the plan is not offered.
Searching for a company website with any information on the plan including the formulary proved to be fruitless.
As far as marketing the plan, HealthMarkets seems to be not ready for prime time. Perhaps they are relying on subscribers and readers of the Reader’s Digest magazine only.
Should you enroll in the Reader’s Digest Part D plan?
You probably have somewhere in the range of 30 Part D plans available depending on where you live.
If you are hoping to make a decision by comparing benefits between plans, you will be at a real disadvantage because information about this plan seems to be a secret.
The most important consideration when choosing a plan is the formulary. If a plan does not include your drugs it is not a suitable plan. One thing we do know about this plan is that it is a basic plan with no extra gap coverage.
This is probably not a suitable plan for someone who needs some of the less common medications or who will reach the donut hole.
If you are fortunate enough to review the formulary and all of your drugs are covered, this may be a suitable plan. This is especially true if you would like to save money on a magazine subscription. Beyond that, you may want to wait until the plan can be rated and more information is readily available.