Many Medicare enrollees shopping for drug plans this open enrollment season may be lured in by the offers with the lowest premiums, when in fact these plans can make for poor choices. What’s most important when choosing a Part D plan is that the drugs you need are covered; and if the plan doesn’t cover your meds, then plain and simple, it is not a good option for you. To find out which plans include the drugs you take, you can use the government’s website, found here: Medicare Plan Finder.
Blindly choosing the plan with the lowest monthly premium means you’re more likely to neglect researching drug coverage and other crucial factors about your Part D drug plan. For instance, if your plan is linked with a preferred drugstore, location could be a problem. This worry is highlighted in a recent AP article, as the Humana/Wal-Mart plan with the lowest premium on the whole Medicare list is causing trouble for some. While the competitive premium prices from Humana and other Part D providers are drawing attention as factors in picking a plan, accessibility, co-pays, deductible and coverage in the doughnut hole must be considered in addition to the most critical factor – the drugs covered on a plan’s formulary.
Medicare enrollees obviously have different prescription needs. If someone takes no medication at all, which is very rare these days, and lives right near a Wal-Mart, then picking the Wal-Mart/Humana plan might be the perfect choice. In this case the plan is used as “insurance” for the Medicare enrollee who gets sick and needs medication in the future. Until that time, paying the lowest possible premium is the best way to save money. On the other hand, another person might take five medications and not live near a Wal-Mart, in which case choosing a plan that covers all or most of a person’s drugs is the right way to go, even if they are paying a very high premium.
All these concerns can be determined through research on websites like MedicareDrugPlans.com and also, importantly, with your doctor and family members. After your research is complete and once you have used your plan, we encourage you to return to MedicareDrugPlans.com to leave ratings and reviews in order to help your peers choose their plans next year, or if they have to switch during the course of this year.Tagged with: accessibility, affordable prescriptions, co-pays, deductible, doughnut hole, Drug Prices, Humana, Medicare, Medicare Drug Plans, medicare plan finder, medicaredrugplans.com, Part D, premiums, save money, seniors, United States, Wal-Mart