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Five Tips to Selecting a Medicare Part D Plan

by Kimberly Johnson
Why Compare Part D Plans Annually?

Five Tips to Selecting a Medicare Part D Plan
Medicare_Selecting_PlanEnrolling in Medicare Part D is overwhelming. You may be asking yourself, which plan best fits my needs? Are my prescriptions covered? Do I have to use a certain pharmacy? How much should I pay for my premium? Medicare, Medicare Part D, Medicare premium, Part D formulary.
Considering the high cost of prescription medications, Medicare beneficiaries cannot afford to make mistakes. But the wide variety of plans to choose from can make finding the right plan feel like looking for a needle in a haystack.
However, a little time, some research, and the following tips can help you in your selection process.

  • Tip One – Evaluate More Than Just Premium Price: At first, you may want to pick a plan based on the premium cost, but a low price might mean higher out-of-pocket costs, fewer drugs available or more restrictions. When looking at a plan, compare price based on an estimate of your total annual costs in each plan, including the premium, deductibles, copayments and coverage gap expenses.
  • Tip Two – Look at the Formulary: Not all plans use the same formulary – the list of drugs covered by the plan – so your top priority should be to find a plan that covers the medications, or clinically appropriate alternatives, you currently take.
  • Tip Three – Determine Your Pharmacy Preference: Look for a plan that offers choice when it comes to the pharmacy you use. Plans that offer a “preferred pharmacy network” provide a broad selection of pharmacies that offer deeper discounts than your standard network pharmacies.
  • Tip Four – Find the Right Pharmacist: Consider a plan that offers round-the-clock access to pharmacists. Some plans offer specialist pharmacists that have tailored expertise in medications that treat popular chronic conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
  • Tip Five – Consider Your Future Health: Research suggests that members of the baby boomer generation are faced with several chronic conditions. In fact, according to Express Scripts, more than half of people aged 60-67 have high blood pressure or high cholesterol. An unexpected medical diagnosis could result in the need for additional chronic medications and costs. Picking a plan that can protect you from unanticipated medication needs can give you peace of mind and protect your retirement budget

Although selecting a Medicare plan may seem daunting, being aware of what to look for can help make the decision easier. To stay up-to-date with the latest Medicare news, sign up for a free newsletter about retirement planning and Medicare at http://www.roadmapformedicare.com/sign-up/.

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