A Step By Step Guide To Medicare Part Ds Prescription Drug Plan

A Step By Step Guide To Medicare Part Ds Prescription Drug Plan

By May 15 of​ this year, if​ you haven’t signed up for the program, you could end up without drug coverage, or​ have to​ pay the penalty for applying after the deadline. The penalty is​ a​ 1% increase in​ your premium for each month after May 2018 in​ which you don’t enroll.

The following is​ a​ step-by-step guide designed to​ get down to​ the basics of​ Medicare Part D, cut through the jargon, and tells you exactly what you need to​ know.

Step #1: Eligibility. Are you eligible for Medicare’s new prescription drug plan? Simply put, if​ you are eligible for Medicare Part a​ or​ Part B, you are eligible for Part D.

Step #2: Cost. What will Medicare Part D cost you? For drug expenses in​ the range of​ $0-$250, you pay 100% of​ the cost. When and if​ your costs fall between $250-$2,250, the plan pays for 75%, and you pay for 25%.

At this point, the infamous coverage gap, often referred to​ as​ the "donut hole," comes into play. Essentially, if​ your total drug costs, which include what you and the plan pay for prescriptions, exceed $2,250 per year, you pay 100% of​ your drug costs after that point until you reach $3,600 in​ out-of-pocket expenses (total $5,100 in​ drug costs). But after you escape from the "donut hole," you only have to​ pay for 5% of​ your drug costs.

What you pay also includes the usual insurance costs associated with a​ drug plan. if​ you do not qualify for extra help, you will pay: monthly premiums, a​ yearly deductible, and co-pay or​ co-insurance for each prescription.

If you qualify for extra help due to​ a​ limited income, you will pay: low or​ no monthly premiums, low or​ no yearly deductible, low or​ no co-pay or​ co-insurance for each prescription, and you don’t have to​ worry about the coverage gap.

Through Medicare’s prescription drug plan, you must choose drug coverage from one of​ the many private plans made available for the purpose of​ Medicare Part D. This is​ usually the point at​ which people become the most confused. There is​ a​ wide range of​ plans from which to​ choose, and in​ the end, the right one for you depends on your unique circumstances. Search for the plan that offers the lowest total costs for the year, including your premiums, deductibles, co-payments or​ co-insurance for each prescription, and any drug costs you pay during the coverage gap.

To best compare the available plans, visit the http://www.medicare.gov prescription drug plan finder.

Step #3: Drugs Covered. Choosing an​ insurance plan also requires that you make a​ selection based on the specific drugs you need. The list of​ drugs covered is​ called a​ formulary. So when determining which plan is​ best for you, cost is​ only one consideration - you must also make a​ choice based on the type of​ drugs covered. Generic and brand name drugs are included in​ the formularies, but if​ a​ drug you take is​ not on the list, you will either have to​ pay for it​ in​ full, or​ switch to​ a​ similar drug that is​ covered by the plan.

Step #4: Joining. Signing up for a​ plan is, luckily, easier than you may think. You can either sign up through the plan’s website or​ through Medicare.gov. Another option: call the company offering the plan you desire, or​ call Medicare directly.

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