From October 15th to December 7th, 42 million seniors will have the opportunity to make a choice on their Medicare Part D prescription plan that might save them hundreds and perhaps thousands of dollars. However, 90% of those eligible will fail to take advantage and benefit from the savings, leaving billions on the table, which only benefits the insurance and pharmaceutical companies!
Choosing the Right Prescription Drug Plan Could Save You a Lot of Money!
Insurance plans compete for enrollees through different formularies, deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance, as well as premiums, all of which can change annually, and frequently do. The designers of Part D had hoped that seniors would eventually learn how to navigate the system and be more efficient with it. However, there is little evidence that their choices have improved over time!
"Why", you might ask? ..... Because it's not that easy!
Each year, only 1 in 10 Part D recipients chooses a plan that's best for them. The other 90% lost an average of $1,066 last year due to bad choices. There's a lot of money on the line for individuals that have several prescriptions.
If your not convinced yet, studies by University of Southern California School of Pharmacy show that in 2015, the average savings for an individual that chose the best plan for their needs, saved an average of $1,104. Here's an example they site in one of their studies.
J. Walker and his wife Tara take 12 prescription medications between the both of them. Last year, they saved over $4,000 on their prescriptions by choosing a plan that worked best for them. Mr. Walker stated, "We find that we need to choose a different plan virtually every year. Those who don't choose correctly, lose." He also mentioned how fortunate he was to find an expert in Medicare Part D prescription plans to assist. "It's difficult finding the right plan for your specific situation if you're not familiar with the system," he said.
So why don't most people investigate Part D Plans more thoroughly before signing on? Again, as mentioned above, it's just not that easy.
The National Bureau of Economic Research points out that a large number of seniors simply don't pay attention or don't bother reviewing plans until they have to pay for one or more of their medications that isn't covered or their premiums go up.
BUT .... then it's too late to choose another plan for the year and their left paying 100's or 1000's of dollars more than they should for their medications. Couldn't that money be better spent elsewhere?
What You Can Do ....
Until Medicare makes some improvements to help people find the right Part D Plans, 90% of seniors will continue to lose money year after year, unless they are diligent and find better ways to understand Part D, so they can make better choices.
The 10% of seniors that do take the time to choose a plan that works best for them, understand that some research is a necessary evil if they want to save money. Many don't go it alone and work with a Medicare Advocate to assist them, usually at no cost.
If your one that's up for the challenge of researching and picking a plan on your own, then all the power to you!
But ... Depending on where you live, you might have dozens of plans to choose from. You'll have to consider such things as premiums, co-payments, deductibles and levels of coverage, including which drugs are covered.
Additionally, you should factor in your annual prescription costs as they relate to the 3 coverage phases of Part D, especially phase 2, better known as the "Donut Hole". Finally, when you think you're just about there, you'll have to consider picking a pharmacy, which could through a wrench into all the research you've just done. Why?
.... Because the cost of your drugs may vary greatly from one pharmacy to the next, even within the same plan. Your drugs might even be in a different tier, depending on the pharmacy you choose.
Let's face it, doing it on your own could entail a lot of work and there's a whole lot of things to consider when your trying to pick the right plan.
The right information at the right time could make all the difference ....
After reading about the complexities of Medicare and especially Medicare Part D, speaking with an expert should be at the top of your list. Remember, the Insurance Companies are betting that you're one of the 90% that doesn't research plans to save money. Money left on the table goes into their pockets.
So do yourself a favor and speak with someone that knows the ins and outs of prescription drug plans. If you have your drug list handy, it should only take a few minutes for a Part D specialist to put together an efficient plan that works best for you and you'll get valuable information that the Insurance Companies just won't share with you.
The right information at the right time could make all the difference with your Part D expenses. We wish you the best in picking your upcoming plan.
MedSupps Solutions is a leading resource throughout the country for Medicare knowledge and guidance. Our Medicare Part D experts will work with you free of cost to put your Part D plan together. Additionally, we'll review your plan annually to ensure your getting the best possible coverage for the best price, year after year.
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