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Look Out for Changes to Premiums and Deductibles for Medicare Part D Plans

As we wrote a few weeks ago, there are loads of changes coming to Medicare Part D next year. Changes to your plan’s deductible and monthly premium can impact your wallet, for better or for worse! We’ve analyzed the plans from 2013 and 2014 and identified those with notable changes to their deductibles and premiums.

Keep in mind that there may be other important changes to a plan, such as those to its formulary or cost sharing structure. For example, the deductible for Blue MedicareRx Value plan double in 2014, and it is also losing about 700 drugs from its formulary. On the other hand, this plan and others might see increases in deductibles or premiums correspond with lower co-pays or better donut hole coverage, which could save you a lot of money.

The tables below show you examples of plans with large changes, and aren’t meant to be comprehensive. To view more plan options, and read reviews and ratings by members, head over to

Notable Decreases in Plan Deductibles

Plan Name States 2013 Deductible 2014 Deductible Dollar Change % Change

Express Scripts Medicare – Choice (PDP)

Many States $200 0 -$200 -100%
Health Alliance Medicare Prescription Plan – Enhcd (PDP)

Illinois $325 0 -$325 -100%
United American – Enhanced (PDP) Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, $40 $20 -$20 -50%

Notable Increases in Deductible

Plan Name States 2013 Deductible 2014 Deductible Dollar Change % Change
Blue MedicareRx Value (PDP)

Arizona $150 $310 $160 107 %
Prescription Blue Option A (PDP)

Michigan $125 $195 $70 56%
Blue Rx Plus (PDP)

Pennsylvania, West Virginia $250 $310 $60 24%

Notable Decreases in Monthly Premiums

Plan Name States 2013 Premium 2014 Premium Dollar Change % Change
WellCare Classic (PDP)

Mississippi $36.60 $17.30 -$19.30 -53%
Aetna Medicare Rx Essentials (PDP) Oregon, Washington $72.90 $35.20 -$37.70 -52%
Express Scripts Medicare – Choice (PDP) Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota $102.70 $70.60 -$32.10 -31%

Notable Increases in Monthly Premiums

Plan Name States 2013 Premium 2014 Premium Dollar Change % Change
Aetna CVS/pharmacy Prescription Drug Plan (PDP)

Florida $32.50 $75.00 $42.50 131%
AARP MedicareRx Saver Plus (PDP)

Oregon, Washington $15 $29.50 $14.50 97%
First Health Part D Value Plus (PDP)

Colorado $32.30 $58.40 $26.10 81%

Once again, you need to shop around and do your research to get the best plan. Check out some reviews and ratings at – and rate your current plan to help others – then head over to the government’s site to compare plan formularies, and choose a plan that covers the medications you take.

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Save Money on Medicare Drug Plans by Shopping Around – Open Enrollment Starts This Friday

An article published last week in Reuters suggests that Medicare Part D drug plans may be dropping premium prices – an effect of the healthcare reform law which could greatly benefit seniors if they shop around. Reevaluating your Medicare drug plan yearly during the open enrollment period is always a good idea, but this year plan selection could make a big difference.

Although we reported in August that plan premiums will not raise in 2012, Avalere Health, a health policy consulting firm, finds that while 10 of the top Part D plans will lower prices, six plans will raise premiums. However, the good news is that in the larger picture Avalere “projects that average premiums for both prescription drug and Advantage plans will fall 4 percent for 2012.” Because of the 2010 heath reform law, Dan Mendelson, Avalere Health’s CEO, is calling this a “year of change.” He tells Reuters, “It’s a year where patients really need to shop.” provides ratings and reviews – along with basic plan information such as deductibles and premiums– for consumers to access during their research period. Ratings and comments help Medicare enrollees understand the pros and cons of a plan, and user comments and forum posts give details on what other Americans experienced with their plans.

Open enrollment will be from October 15th – December 7th this year, a change from previous years meant to give Medicare enough time to process all changes and new enrollees, and for consumers to manage their health needs before the busy holiday season.

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