While Medicare Part D is optional, it is highly recommended everyone enrolls in Medicare Part D once they become eligible. Many of those who enroll in Medicare tend to enroll in the Original Medicare Plan, which does not offer prescription drug coverage, so they simply forget about that part of their health coverage. It is imperative to remember that Medicare offers prescription drug coverage through Medicare Part D!
If you're enrolled in Original Medicare, then you can simply enroll in Medicare Part D separately as a stand-alone plan and receive prescription drug coverage. If you choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan, also known as Medicare Part C, then you will more than likely already have prescription drug coverage bundled into your insurance plan. It's always important to check with your Medicare Advantage Plan provider to ensure you receive that benefit, though.
Medicare Part D is provided by private insurance companies but is required to follow guidelines established by Medicare. Each Medicare Part D Plan will have a formulary that is created by your plan provider. Each formulary will differ, but they will all list the prescription medications that your provider has chosen to cover. There are certain medications, such as those that help manage HIV/AIDS, that they are required to cover.
Once you've checked your plan’s formulary to ensure your medication is covered, you then find out what “tier” your medication falls under. Most plans have five tiers. Tiers one and two are typically generic medications and are the cheapest ones as well. Some brand-name drugs may be included in tier two as well. As you go farther up the ladder into tiers three, four, and five, the price of the medication increases due to what it may treat or if it is a specialty drug.
There are a few priorities you should evaluate about yourself when deciding on the best Medicare Part D coverage plan for you.
- Then you need to check the plan’s formulary to ensure your medication is listed. If it is listed on their formulary, which is simply a list of drugs, then it is a covered prescription drug.
-You should search for plans with a low deductible or even no deductible at all. You may also want to check on additional coverage within the coverage gap.
-Find a drug plan with tiers that charge little to no copayments for generic medications.
Once your Initial Enrollment Period begins, do not just enroll for Original Medicare. Protect yourself, and your future, by enrolling in a Prescription Drug Plan as well. For more information about how you can save money on your medicine, give us a call today!