Choosing a Medicare prescription drug plan based on your current coverage or what your friends and family have might seem like an easy process. But really, it’s a flawed shortcut, especially since comparing Medicare Part D plans could help you save you money.
Between premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance, finding the right plan that matches your needs can take effort. We’ve broken it down into 5 steps. Or you can make it even simpler by using the HealthMarkets FitScore®, which can help you compare Part D plans online. Just tell us your coverage preferences, and we will rank available plans in your area to find the right fit for you.
5 Steps to Compare Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans
1. Gather all your medications.
Write down the prescription names, dosages, and the amounts you take every 30 or 90 days. Collecting this list will help improve your ability to pick the best plan for your coverage needs.
2. Use an online tool to compare Part D plans.
You can use our website to enter your prescriptions and compare available plans anytime. Entering all your prescriptions is the best way to find a plan that covers your medications at the lowest cost.
3. Don’t rely on just your nearest pharmacy when comparing drug plans.
Because drug plans vary, your closest pharmacy may not be in every plan’s network. Our shopping site enables you to enter your favorite drug store location and match it to a plan. You can also expand your online comparison by changing the pharmacy you enter. Another option is to not enter a specific pharmacy at all to help you compare network costs at one time.
4. Review the costs for mail order vs retail store purchases.
When reviewing available plans in your area, you can click on “See Plan Details” to compare each plan’s costs for filling prescriptions at a retail pharmacy versus mail order. Your copay could be less for mail orders.
5. Look at the estimated annual costs, not just premiums and deductibles.
You’ll want to look at plans that have the lowest estimated annual costs. You’ll find this information when you click on “See Plan Details” for each plan. Keep in mind that plans can have higher premiums and deductibles, but lower copays, which can make the total annual costs less.
Don’t Forget to See If You Qualify for Extra Help
Leaving money on the table is always disappointing, especially when you didn’t know it was there. There are several government programs that can lower the cost of Medicare premiums, including Extra Help. This program can reduce your prescription drug plan premium if you qualify. To see if you’re eligible, you can use an Extra Help calculator.
When (and How) to Get Enrolled in Medicare Part D
Typically, you will want to enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan once you turn 65, unless you have other qualifying coverage. Otherwise, missing your first chance to enroll could cost you a late enrollment penalty. If you opt for Medicare Part C (known as Medicare Advantage), your plan may already include prescription coverage. If not, you will need to find a Medicare Part D plan before your enrollment timeline is over to avoid the penalty.
HealthMarkets Takes the Hassle out of Comparing Medicare Drug Plans
When you want to compare Medicare Part D drug plans, HealthMarkets can find which plans cover your current prescriptions, estimate your drug costs, and help you apply for a plan. Compare Medicare Part D plans now. It’s fast, easy, and comes at no cost to you.
Disclaimers: HealthMarkets FitScore intends to identify plans that fit your needs. You should carefully review official plan materials.