As if you did not know, it is that time of year. It is time to review your benefits if you have Medicare health insurance. Plans’ cost, as well as coverage can change, so it can be worth your while to make sure you have the coverage that fits you.
The number of choices, especially for Part D (stand-alone prescription drug plans or PDP), can be overwhelming. Some key statistics:
- For 2018, Medicare beneficiaries will have a choice of 23 Medicare Part D stand-alone PDPs and 17 Medicare Advantage drug plans in their area, on average.
- The average monthly PDP premium will increase by 9 percent from 2017 to 2018, to $43.48, weighted by 2017 plan enrollment. This estimate includes premiums for both basic and enhanced PDPs, assumes current PDP enrollees remain in their same plan, and makes no assumptions about plan choices by new enrollees or reassignment of low-income beneficiaries.
- PDP premiums vary widely across plans in 2018. Among the 10 PDPs with the highest enrollment, average premiums will range from $20.21 per month ($243 per year) for Humana Walmart Rx to $83.68 per month ($1,004 per year) for AARP Medicare Rx Preferred.
- Almost all PDPs in 2018 have five cost-sharing tiers, but specific copayments and coinsurance rates vary widely across PDPs. Nearly all PDPs charge coinsurance for higher-cost specialty and non-preferred drugs, which usually results in higher out-of-pocket costs for enrollees than when plans charge copayments.
Medicare’s website can be helpful, especially the Medicare Plan Finder for Part D coverage.
Anything involving the government seems more confusing than warranted. We have partnered with i65 to help us navigate the bureaucratic mess. If you need help, either in evaluating your current plan, assessing options under Plan D, or if you are nearing 65, let us know if we can help. The cost savings can truly be tremendous.