Each year between October 15th and December 7th, Medicare beneficiaries have the opportunity to change their prescription drug plan (PDPs). Although this is not an easy task, it is important to at least look to see if your current plan is still the best plan for you. In a study over 4 years, only 13% of enrollees in PDPs switched plans over that 4-year period. However, over 50% of people that switched plans saw a decrease in their annual cost of prescriptions by over 5% with many having even greater savings.
One of the main reasons that people do not look at other plans is the complexity of the prescription plans, including premiums, copays, deductibles, formulary changes (which tells you which drugs will be covered by the plans as well as the tier levels), and gap coverages. Medicare has an online tool that will calculate the total cost for each plan but it is confusing for many people and terms aren’t easily defined. The State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) also provides a no-cost analysis of the Part D plans on certain days but these reviews are often not convenient.
Recently, some independent community pharmacies have started providing a service of evaluating all of the Medicare Part D plans and providing this information to you in an easy to decipher format. You will still have to make a choice as to which plan is best for you but now there is an easy way to see if your plan is still the best plan for you. Regardless of how you evaluate your plan, take the time this year to find your best prescription drug plan for 2018.
Dr. Phillip Thornton, RPh, PhD can be reached at Mint Hill Pharmacy or by phone at 704.910.2718. Please stop by and ask about our Medicare Part D plan reviews or our specialty packaging.