When your prescription drug costs skyrocket, you need a way to bring those expenses back down and make your healthcare more affordable. After all, you probably can’t just stop buying the prescription drugs your doctor told you to. Instead you need a way to make those essential medications cheaper for yourself, and Medicare Part D plans could be the answer you are looking for.
This is a widely accepted plan that covers many prescription drug costs for you. There is no guarantee that a given Part D plan will cover you very well, if at all, but you definitely want to look into the plan and see what it has to offer before you just dismiss it. Many people save hundreds of dollars every year from this one coverage plan, and you can join them, if you find the right plan.
Compare the Part D Plans
You will want to start by looking at what Part D plans are available. There are lots of them, and while they all cover you for prescription drug costs, they do so in different ways. Some of them will cover exactly drugs that you need and cover them very well. Others will cover you here and there and then leave you to pay a few on your own. Medicare may be the one regulating these plans, but it is the private insurance companies like Mutual of Omaha and Aetna that are selling them.
These private insurances have some freedom in what they can have their plans cover and how they cover various drugs. They also have a say in what the price will be, so you definitely want to compare prices and not just coverage.
The coverage on Part D plans works differently from other types of medical insurance. The coverage is arranged in tiers of descending coverage. So, the bottommost tier covers the most, and it consists of a list of drugs that are fully covered, or almost fully covered. The next tier up covers a bit less and obtains a list of drugs as well. The tiers continue on up until you get to the top tier, which covers its list of drugs only slightly.
If you have a drug that’s on a higher tier that you need, then it may be possible to negotiate for a price break on it or have it moved to a lower tier to accommodate you. Don’t give up on an otherwise decent plan because a prescription drug is too high up the tier and would cost you too much to pay for on your own.
You definitely want to compare the plans, though. There are lots of them out there, and finding the best one can be tricky and time-consuming, but it is certainly worth it. Medicare Part D plans are a great way to save some money on your drug costs, but only if you choose the right plan. There are many of them that you could sign up for that you would be wasting money on and that would not be good picks for you in your current situation.
How to Apply for Part D
Applying for a Medicare plan of any kind is fairly simple. You simply have to meet the minimum requirements and apply at the right place. Generally, once you qualify for one Medicare plan, then you qualify for all of them. If you are 65 or older, then you probably qualify automatically. And some people qualify earlier based on their medical conditions.
Keep in mind that Part D plans are only available through private insurance providers, so you have to go to their individual websites in order to apply for the plan you are wanting.
Once you fill out the application form, you just need to wait for a reply. This can take days or weeks, and once the application is approved, you can accept or deny the terms of the agreement for the plan. It is only then that you are obligated to start making payments and stick with a contract.
In order to make Part D work, thought you need to have Original Medicare. You can sign up for that through Medicare directly, and Part D is meant as an add-on plan.
There is another way to get a Part D plan than simply buying it on its own. It sometimes comes as a package deal with Part C, which is also known as Medicare Advantage. A lot of Medicare Advantage plans carry Part D coverage, and you can find some great deals on these packages by looking around. Once again, you get these through private insurance companies and not through Medicare.
Is Part D a Good Choice?
You may be unsure if Part D is right for you, and we want you to know that most seniors save money with this plan. There are some ways to save even more money, such as through some employer insurance plans, but not everyone has great employer plans available to them, and for most seniors, Part D is the way to go.
It’s not really made for people who have no prescription drugs to buy, though, as you pay the same amount whether you have lots of drugs to get or none at all. The cost of the plan is based primarily on what it provides coverage for and not how it covers your particular needs, so it is up to you to compare the plans and find the one that is right for you.
If you are not 65 yet, then you probably shouldn’t try to apply for Part D. Unless you suffer from certain medical conditions, you won’t be able to get approval for this plan. Once you hit 65, though, Part D is really the best way to go for a majority of seniors. It can save them tons of money every year and make their healthcare far more affordable. The Medicare Part D plans are going to change from year to year, in both pricing and coverage, but their value will always be there, and you should at least give them a look.