Finding the right Medicare part D plan is hard for many. For most Medicare members, the secret lies in the power of the retail pharmacy. There are many things people look for when comparing Medicare part D plans but many have to look at the retail pharmacy options that are offered. While it’s easy to say all part D plans are the same, there are some huge differences when it comes to retail pharmacies that are in network.
Every Medicare part D plan has a set of retail pharmacies they work with. A retail pharmacy is another name for a local pharmacy. Some retail pharmacies operate independently and others are a part of a major chain. The choice of a retail pharmacy is important because not all insurance providers work with the same pharmacies for different reasons. The choice of a Medicare part D plan can be decided on based on the pharmacies that are in network.
Independent Retail Pharmacies Charm
There are many people that think all retail pharmacies are the same. That is not true. There are huge differences in pharmacies and until people think about it, they don’t realize it. One of the major differences in pharmacies are independent and big box pharmacies.
An independent retail pharmacy is often one that is owned by a small business owner. It can be family owned and operated and sits in the middle of a small town. These pharmacies are often familiar to people that have grown up or live in a small town. What many people like about an independent retail pharmacy is that the service is completely personal. Many of the pharmacists and staff have the opportunity to talk with their customers and answer any questions they may have about their health.
Because an independent retail pharmacy is small, the prices of medications are also very different. For many small pharmacies there is no need to charge a huge amount of money to be profitable. It’s surprising for many people how much medications are marked up by pharmacies to ensure the store makes money. Because these pharmacies are small, that markup may not be as dramatic as it is in other stores.
One of the drawbacks of having medications filled at an independent retail pharmacy is that there are no other locations to use if an emergency happens. While it’s okay for the medications to be filled at a different pharmacy, patients will have to take their prescription in to the new pharmacy or have them transferred.
Big Box Retail Pharmacies Meet the Demand
A big box retail pharmacy is created to meet the needs of a lot more people. Many of these pharmacies are connected to stores that have multiple locations. The pharmacists in these stores are used to dealing with a larger volume of customers and constant work. The staff is trained to constantly work with the customers to keep their medications filled when needed and get customers in to get their medications on time.
Those that choose to get their medications filled at big box retail pharmacies do it because they want their prescriptions listed in a large database of pharmacies. If they need to go to a new location, their medications are on file and it doesn’t take a lot of time to get their medications filled. Not only are the medications kept on file in a larger network of pharmacies, the prices can be competitive. There are some markups in medications that smaller pharmacies may not have but there are discounts smaller pharmacies may not offer.
There are a lot of things to consider when deciding on which retail pharmacy to use. These thoughts are different for everyone and should be based on those needs. No matter what pharmacy is picked in the beginning, with Medicare part D plans as long as the retail pharmacy is in network, there is no charge to pick a new pharmacy if necessary.