Who Can Explain Medicare Part D to Me?

When it comes to Medicare Part D, there is a lot to learn. There are many people that don’t know what to do when it is time to search for a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. They don’t know where to turn to for assistance or even a simple explanation. There are a lot of important decisions that have to be made when it comes to medications and prescription insurance. These decisions should never be made alone or without getting questions addressed.

Part D Prescription Drug Plan Providers

There are many people that don’t know what to do when it comes to choosing a prescription drug plan. They don’t know what the different plans have to offer them and they don’t know exactly what questions to ask. When people just want to know what each plan has to offer, there is no greater authority than the individual prescription drug plan providers themselves.

Prescription drug plan providers know their product, the good and bad. They are able to answer questions for each person that calls with questions regarding their products. When a Medicare beneficiary calls with questions, these companies have trained agents available to answer questions and describe the benefits of each individual plan. They are also able to tell potential customers if the plan would not be in their best interest.

When people begin to speak with the different Medicare Part D prescription drug plan providers, they should remember a few things. These things help to guide the conversations and makes the conversations a little easier to have. When talking to insurance representatives, people should:

·         Have their medications available. This includes monthly quantity and dosage.

·         Note what they don’t like about their current prescription insurance. This will prompt people to ask about particular services and allowances.

·         Have their pharmacy information available. This will help people ensure their pharmacy is in the network.

·         Know how much they can afford to spend on their monthly premium. This will help people begin to eliminate the plans that are out of their budget.

·         Have their Medicare card available. When people find a prescription drug plan they like and want to enroll immediately, this information is going to be necessary.

·         Have a pen and paper. There are some people that like to take notes on the information they are given and often have to scramble to find something to write with or on. This prevents a longer call than necessary.

Medicare

There are some people that just don’t trust the information they are getting from the prescription drug plan providers. They sometimes feel their best interests aren’t being put first and they will be lied to. This is something that is a common concern and quite understandable. Those that don’t want to talk to the insurance providers directly shouldn’t have to go without their questions being answered just because of their mistrust of the source.

Rather than call the prescription drug plan provider, there are some people that have gotten into the habit of calling Medicare for assistance. They call Medicare for several reasons. Many people call Medicare when it comes to enrolling into a prescription drug plan because they know they will get unbiased opinions. They also call Medicare because Medicare is able to see all of the prescription drug plans available and help them narrow their search down.

Those that call Medicare for help in choosing their prescription drug plan know they will be able to speak with someone that will help them find the best options based on their need and what’s available to them. Before they speak with someone, they should remember to have the following things available:

·         Have their medications available. This includes monthly quantity and dosage.

·         Note what they don’t like about their current prescription insurance. This will prompt people to ask about particular services and allowances.

·         Have their pharmacy information available. This will help people ensure their pharmacy is in the network.

·         Know how much they can afford to spend on their monthly premium. This will help people begin to eliminate the plans that are out of their budget.

·         Have their Medicare card available. When people find a prescription drug plan they like and want to enroll immediately, this information is going to be necessary.

·         Have a pen and paper. There are some people that like to take notes on the information they are given and often have to scramble to find something to write with or on. This prevents a longer call than necessary.

This helps to keep the conversation moving in the right direction. After the Medicare associate has made their recommendation, prospective customers can call the insurance company directly or they can enroll directly through the Medicare associate they are speaking with.

State Health Information Program

There are times that people just don’t want to have a conversation. It can be a frustrating thing and a lot of information can be lost over the telephone. Rather than everyone having to call different numbers and get different people, there is help that can be found face to face. Most states have a state health information program office or a SHIP office.

The SHIP office is filled with volunteers and paid staff members that can help anyone work through their Medicare Part D options. These volunteers understand that it is frustrating for some to weed out their Medicare options and convey exactly what they need to have with their prescription insurance plan. Rather than allow people in the community to keep being frustrated, this program is designed to help them work through their needs and make the phone calls that are necessary for their client.

When people decide to see a SHIP counselor, they should remember that they are there to help them. They are trained to ask specific questions and the more information they have, the better they will be able to help. As people work with their SHIP counselor, they should know they need to have patience because there may be phone calls that have to be made. Before people make their appointments to see a SHIP counselor, they should gather the following pieces of information to take with them:

·         Have their medication list available. This includes monthly quantity and dosage.

·         Note what they don’t like about their current prescription insurance. This will prompt people to ask about particular services and allowances.

·         Have their pharmacy information available. This will help people ensure their pharmacy is in the network.

·         Know how much they can afford to spend on their monthly premium. This will help people begin to eliminate the plans that are out of their budget.

·         Have their Medicare card available. When people find a prescription drug plan they like and want to enroll immediately, this information is going to be necessary.

·         Have a pen and paper. There are some people that like to take notes on the information they are given and often have to scramble to find something to write with or on. This prevents a longer call than necessary.

·         Any paperwork they want the SHIP counselor to address with them.

These things help keep the conversation focused. It also helps clients because they are able to address all the issues that a person is having face to face.

There is plenty of help that is available to those that need it. As Medicare beneficiaries listen to the many commercials about Medicare prescription drug plans and read the literature, they can have questions. Rather than allow those questions to go unanswered, they should reach out and get them answered. They can call the insurance company directly, Medicare or have a conversation with a SHIP counselor. Those that reach out to get the help they need often have a better experience with their Medicare Part D prescription drug plan.

Oct. 22 12'

I think I'm happy with my Drug plan tho I don't know what the premium is.  I have no co-pay except for one RX...the only beta blocker that I can take and must have.  Bystolic.  No generic and I have to pay all the cost myself $105 every 3 months...that's $420 peryear - or more than $1 for each pill.  How can I determine if I should change plans or leave things as they are?

Nov. 28 12'

Karen Anderson

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