According to a study published in the National Bureau of Economic Research, incorrect choices in Medicare PDPs seem to be prevalent. Fewer than 10% of individuals are enrolled in the most cost-effective plan. Therefore, the question “How to Get Low Cost Prescription Insurance Coverage” is very real. It may save you thousands of dollars, which quite often much higher savings than those from shopping for MAPD or Medigap plans.
The right Part D choice is not easy because it is a “moving target”, so to speak. Patient conditions change, new generic drugs appear on the market all the time, and so forth. Individuals normally change their PDP plan for the next year during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP). Therefore, the standard estimation tools (such as Medicare Prescription Plan Finder) cannot take potential future changes into account. Also, there are too many companies (40-50) to choose from, and the study mentioned above concludes that this abundance of choices leads to bad decision making. Nevertheless, such tools can be quite helpful as long as you follow the guidelines described below.
How to Get Low Cost Prescription Insurance Coverage – Guidelines
1. People often make a selection based on choices made by their friends and family members. But the choice of a Part D insurance vendor should be based on YOUR list of prescriptions, and everyone has their OWN list. Your drug prescription may or may not be on the formulary for a particular company, or it may be on a higher tier than another company; these are all factors that can make a great impact on annual drug expenses.
2. There is a tendency to pay more attention to Monthly Premium rather than to Estimated Annual Drug Costs. Estimated Annual Drug Costs include ALL of your annual drug related expenses: premiums, deductibles, co-payments, and formulary restrictions. They provide an adequate basis for the proper cost comparison.
The only situation when you may select a plan based on the lowest premium is if you don’t have any prescriptions; and enroll in the plan just to avoid the Part D penalty. In all other cases, enter your prescriptions into the appropriate tool, and find the plan with the lowest Estimated Annual Drug Costs. You’ll be surprised how often the plan with a premium of $100/month will be less expensive for you overall than a plan with a $15/month premium.
3. If possible, always try to use generic medications rather than brand drugs – they are much less expensive.
4. Always consider applying for either the Extra Help / Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) Federal programs, which pays for the cost of Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage, or for State Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs (SPAPs). Never assume that you are not eligible; there are a variety of programs for people with different income and resources, and you may qualify for one of them.
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For help finding the best Medicare or Individual Health Plan for you, please contact Liberty Medicare or call us at 877-657-7477.