Congress created Medicare and put it into effect in 2006. It is a drug insurance program. Traditional Medicare does not cover prescription drugs. A new plan is chosen every year by Medicare beneficiaries and they vary by state with around 25 different options of plans. This makes choosing a plan that will fit a patient challenging.
There will be a new plan for 2016 will be revealed on October 1st on Medicare.gov. The plan chosen will go into effect on January 1st, 2016. The participants get the chance to choose a plan between the dates of October 15th – December 7th. The more research the participants do, the better chance they have for saving the most money.
How to Choose
Once a plan is chosen, you cannot change it until the next enrollment period. There are a lot of different plans to choose from, and it will not be easy to make a decision with on the right one. On the Medicare.gov website, there is a section were participants may enter in the drugs one takes, and the amount, and it will calculate the lowest cost priced drug that is available for the prescription and shows how much the drug will cost on each plan available. However, these costs vary by pharmacy and you can only compare two pharmacies at a time, so it is best to do the search more than once.
When looking at plans, you should pay attention to the different copays. The copay of medication varies by insurers and some insurers might have the medication in different tiers.
Medicare.gov is a great place to start your research. Choosing a plan is like gambling, you don’t know which drug you will need in the future, so it is best to be prepared.
- If you are married, it might be better to shop separately. One plan may be better for your partner and another one better for you.
- Pharmacies have different prices on different drugs. The feature on the Medicare website will help compare drug prices per pharmacy. You should be willing to chance pharmacies for the best priced drug,
- Plans change and types of prescribed drugs change so you should do your research every year.
- Look at everything and compare everything, and be prepared when the time comes to vote.