The recently published post How to Get Low Cost Prescription Insurance Coverage provides a list of guidelines that will help you lower the costs of your prescription drugs. The list, however, does not address the importance of Prescription Drug Networks and your pharmacy choice. Here is the original list:
- Select a plan based on YOUR list of prescription drugs rather than on recommendations from your friends or family members.
- Always make your selection based on the lowest Estimated Annual Drug Costs; rather than on the lowest “Monthly Premium”
- If possible, try to use generic rather than brand name medications.
- Always check whether you are eligible for prescription drugs Assistance Programs
Read below for more details on the impact of Prescription Drug Networks in lowering drug costs.
Prescription Drug Networks and the Pharmacy Choice
All Medicare Prescription Drug Plans have an associated network of pharmacies. Only the pharmacies that belong to a plan’s network will cover your drugs based on the reduced price. Otherwise, the full drug price (often prohibitively expensive) must be paid.
There are two kinds of pharmacies within your plan’s network. They are:
- non-preferred pharmacies, and
- preferred pharmacies
Both belong to the plan’s network, but preferred pharmacies typically have lower out-of-pocket expenses than non-preferred. Always select the pharmacy that is a part of the network, and, if possible, the preferred pharmacy. You can change the designated pharmacy at ANY TIME.
There is an additional option that always should be seriously considered – mail order. Most of Part D plans include mail order programs. Typically, the refill frequency is every 3 months. They often provide very cost effective solutions compared to retail pharmacies.
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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.