Medicare first started offering prescription drug coverage to its participants in 2006 through the Part D program, but it's something that changes every year. Keeping track of what those changes are and how they affect the coverage different plans offer can be quite confusing, even for someone who deals with it each year and receives training on it.
Linda Schilling, senior service coordinator/ARCH specialist with the Area Agency on Aging, always does her best to help local seniors with determining which of the plans would be the best option by factoring in medications taken, costs of co-pays, deductibles, and more.
More information about Medicare Part D can be found online HERE.
Seniors need to have this figured out before too much longer, since the deadline to enroll in a plan for next year is December 7, 2020. There is nothing simple about the prescription drug benefit program, which requires Medicare participants to enroll in and pay for private drug coverage and related premiums and co-pays.
Nearly all the 27 stand-alone Medicare Part D plans for 2021 coverage from the variations insurance companies have different coverage levels, with their own plan-specific formularies for what medicines are covered and which ones are not, or different pricing for brand-name meds or generics, as well as which pharmacies can be used. Simply going for the cheapest plan may not cover your drugs.
The way to get ready to start wading through these choices is to have a list of the prescription medications a person takes and some other basic information, such as the pharmacy currently being used, Medicare card number and birthdate. These are the things on the worksheet used to help determine which plans may be best for each individual.
Those registered with a MyMedicare.gov account can use "The Medicare Plan Finder - 2021" tool to narrow down the overall list and get individualized options for plans that would cover the needed drugs, as well as the information about what those plans would cost, including premiums, co-pays, deductibles, and any related coverage gap information.