Part D (Prescription Drug Plan) is an important part of your Medicare options.
Medicare: Prescription Drug Plan (Part D)
By Marie Cantone
Founder of Family Financial Services
Original Medicare which is Part A (Hospital) and Part B (Doctor) does not include prescription drug coverage.
Below are some “tips” on what you need to know to choose a plan.
- You can enroll in a standalone Part D or an Advantage Plan (which includes Part D).
- Pay attention to the timing of when you enroll in Part D. If you don’t enroll “on time,” you will face a penalty which accrues monthly. More importantly, you may NOT be able to enroll in a plan for a year.
- If you don’t currently take prescriptions, it is advisable to enroll in an inexpensive plan so you don’t incur penalties when you do choose to enroll.
- Every plan has a formulary which is a list of the prescription drugs they cover. You want to choose a formulary that covers your prescriptions at the lowest price.
- Wherever possible, take the generic instead of the brand. If the prescription you take is expensive ask your physician if there is another option. Recently, I saved a client over $1000 a year by switching to another prescription. Of course, we do not recommend making a change if it affects your health.
- Many plans have a preferred and a standard pharmacy. If you use the preferred pharmacy, the cost of your prescriptions will be less. For example, going to Walgreens versus CVS could save you hundreds of dollars (or more) per year. These preferred pharmacies may change from year to year so PAY ATTENTION.
- DONUT HOLE – this is the timeframe when your prescriptions will cost you more money. The criteria is the same in every plan.
- EPIC (elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage Program) is a New York State program which helps some seniors with their prescription costs.
Please feel free to call or email me if you have any questions.