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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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Medicare Enrollees Should Be Given a Chance to Switch Part D Plans, Say U.S. Pharmacists

American Medical News reported last week, “Pharmacists have called on the agency overseeing the Medicare program to allow patients to switch their prescription drug plans outside of the normal open enrollment season after beneficiaries say they were misled by insurers.” This would mean a second chance for patients who feel they were not given all the details of the plan they are now stuck with for a year.

A large proportion of ratings and reviews found on our site – – certainly demonstrate the frustration of Medicare enrollees who are not happy with their plans. We would support such a “second chance” to find a better plan. (more…)

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Part D Open Enrollment Ends Today

Today is the last day for the Medicare Part D open enrollment period. For most Medicare enrollees, those who do not have a plan by midnight tonight will face a penalty charge, which will be added to future Part D monthly premium payments.

The Medicare drug plans have certainly frustrated many seniors, who’s experiences can be found in the ratings and reviews on Some of the most frequent problems with plans communicated by seniors are drugs being dropped by plan formularies mid-year; information on drug coverage was not initially made clear; co-pays were higher than expected; and customer service was often inadequate.

On the other hand, some seniors were completely satisfied with their plans. The bottom line is that you need to pick a plan now or you will pay more later.

Sharing her optimism for Medicare Part D benefits, and the discounts provided under the Affordable Healthcare Act, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius commented on’s official blog: “Through the end of October, 2.65 million people with Medicare have received discounts on brand name drugs in the donut hole. These discounts have saved seniors and people with disabilities a total of $1.5 billion on prescriptions – averaging about $569 per person.”

If you’ve yet to choose your plan, you can easily compare reviews on before making the final decision. If you want to share your experiences with others then please rate your plan.

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