Part D open enrollment for 2018 has begun and will continue through December 7th. During this time, if you’re a Medicare enrollee and do not have a plan, then you should pick one. If you already have a plan, you should shop around because plans change! Premiums and deductibles go up or down, drugs get dropped from formularies, new plans come into the marketplace and others exit. Our website, MedicareDrugPlans.com, has a variety of basic plan information to help you in your search, such as premiums, deductibles, coverage gaps, and whether the plan premium is waived if you have a lower income. The most useful thing about MedicareDrugPlans.com is that you can read ratings and reviews about the plans by people who actually know because they use them. That means that if you were using Part D during 2017, you have the opportunity to help others and rate your plan.
MedicareDrugPlans.com is a supplemental information site to maximize your research when choosing your plan. However, the best place to finalize and select your plan is the on the government’s website. There, you will enter in your zip code, Medicare info, names of the medications you take, and find out which plans cover those medications.
As usual, current plan ratings and reviews don’t paint a pretty picture of Medicare Part D.
PLEASE: I strongly advise, along with most healthcare experts, that you pick a plan if you don’t already have one! For one thing, despite imperfections and frustrations with the plans, Part D, cumulatively, is supposed to cover about 75% of your pharmacy expenses until you hit what is called catastrophic coverage ($5000) and then you’re only responsible for 5% of your prescription drug bill. If you don’t pick a plan when you’re first eligible to do so, then you may have to pay higher than normal premiums if you pick a plan at a later date.
The ratings are bad, in part, because people typically come to vent about bad experiences with Medicare Part D, not to write glowing reviews about the beauty of their pharmacy benefits. Usually, they have good reason: lousy customer service, dropping coverage of a prescribed drug mid-year, unfriendly pharmacy websites, and more. It’s good to learn from their experiences on MedicareDrugPlans.com. Of course, if you had a good Part D year, then please share! We encourage all reviews—positive and negative—in order to pass on an accurate picture to the MedicareDrugPlans.com community.
We’ll be back with more information about the plans this week. Stay tuned!
FYI: If you’re in the donut hole now and facing high costs—particularly on brand name drugs—you might check out the online pharmacy prices available internationally from verified pharmacies on PharmacyChecker.com.government assistance, healthcare, Medicare, medicare plans, Part D, ratings, reviews
From my experience, it is important to plug in the names of the medication you actually use, including the strength and amount. Then save the information and then you can just update it every year. However, make to check back to see in the plans on your short list have made changes. Last year, I chose my plan fairly early, but didn’t check back. When the coverage started, I found some of my biggies were covered. NOT a Happy Camper. You should go through the process of checking coverage EVERY year. Don’t feel you have to stick to your plan year after year. They all change.