Medicare Part D: What to Consider

This is the time of the year that Medicare eligible beneficiaries are looking at their Medicare Part D options and wondering who they will choose for the year. They are often thinking of the plan they have now and what they will need in the near future. It’s sometimes a hard decision to make because there is no way to predict the future. While it’s hard to predict future medical expenses and diagnosis, there are some things that can be done to help make choosing a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan easier.

There are many things that are mailed to those that are eligible to participate in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. There are commercials that start playing on the television and radio. There are specific pieces of mail that goes out to those that are already in a prescription drug plan and advertisements stuff many mailboxes. When these things start happening, it’s time to start considering the options and what is available.

The Now

One of the first things that Medicare eligible beneficiaries should do is to look at what they have now for prescription drug coverage. Medicare beneficiaries have a choice as to who will provide their insurance for their prescriptions. If they are not happy with who they currently have as an insurance provider, the questions should be asked: Why are they unhappy? What would they like to be different? Is the insurance suitable for their medication needs? After those questions have been asked, many can begin the process of deciding if they are going to stay with that company or if they will need to start searching for another provider.

Unfortunately, there are some Medicare eligible beneficiaries that don’t have Medicare Part D insurance. They may not have it because they are ignorant to the program or they never knew they should be enrolled in a program. Because they aren’t aware of this, when annual enrollment time happens, they should sit down and think of their current needs and current medical situation. While enrolling in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan is optional, there are penalties levied for not signing up when initially eligible.

The Past

As people begin thinking of their prescription drug plan, many look at their current medication list. This is very important. There are prescriptions that are prescribed that are not always easy or cheap to obtain. There are some medications that cost more than $1,500 per month. These medications are the reason that having a prescription drug plan is a great idea. Those that take any prescription medication should look at their current list of medications and make sure they will have an insurance provider that carries those medications on their formulary.

A formulary is a list of medications that an insurance provider will provide insurance for. If a medication is on that formulary, it’s a medication that is covered by that insurance provider. Many beneficiaries take their current list of medications and things they have been prescribed in the past and look for them on the formularies of the plans they are interested in. This is something everyone should do. It will help to ensure the medications they need will be covered under their plan. If there is a medication or several medications that a beneficiary needs not listed on the formulary, it’s not a plan that is beneficial to that person.

The Future

Another thing that Medicare Part D beneficiaries should do is think about what is important to them. Is constant communication important to them? Would they prefer to work with a company that has multiple ways of contact them in the event of an emergency. What pharmacies are available to a member of different plans? There are certain pharmacies that are in network with every prescription drug plan provider. If there are specific things that are important to Medicare Part D eligible members, it’s something that should be considered when thinking about different drug plans.

Picking a Medicare prescription drug plan is important and should be made based on a member’s needs, not a misplaced sense of loyalty. When it’s time to fill a medication, members need to have their medicines available to them at a price they can afford and within a reasonable distance. Those things are the most important when it comes to a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan.

Nov. 6 13'
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