Tips for Lowering Prescription Drug Costs
Part D of Medicare covers prescription drugs, and anyone enrolled in Medicare Part A or Medicare Part B is eligible for this coverage, regardless of income and resources, health status, or current prescription drug expenses.
Participation in Part D is voluntary and can be especially helpful for people who have high prescription drug costs and no current prescription drug coverage. Medicare prescription drug plans (PDPs) pay for generic and brand name prescription drugs. As with Medicare Part B, there are monthly premiums, deductibles, and copayments. To receive Part D benefits, you must pick a plan offered by a Medicare-approved private insurance company. Availability of Part D plans varies from area to area.
Part D Benefit Stages
There are four phases associated with Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage. During the deductible stage, you’re responsible for paying any deductible your plan requires you to pay before your drug plan begins making payments for your prescription drugs. Once your deductible is met, you enter the initial coverage stage, which normally requires you to pay copayments or coinsurance.
Next is the donut hole or coverage gap stage, where typically you’ll pay drug costs out of pocket. Once your total out-of-pocket costs (including your yearly deductible, copayment, and coinsurance amounts) reach $4,700, you enter the catastrophic coverage stage, where you automatically get catastrophic coverage and are required to pay only a small copayment or coinsurance amount for the rest of the year.
The donut hole or coverage gap phase is when you’re most vulnerable to the high cost of some prescription drugs. Here are some tips to help you lower your Rx costs especially when you’re in the donut hole.
1. Ask your doctor about generic alternatives to prescriptions.
Using generic drugs whenever possible can save you thousands of dollars per year.
2. Look for a less expensive pharmacy.
Don’t overlook the savings that can result from using a mail-order pharmacy.
3. Investigate state and charitable assistance programs.
Start by clicking here and scrolling down to 5 Ways to Lower Your Costs in the Coverage Gap
4. Don’t take medications you don’t really need.
Don’t be afraid to ask whether a particular medication is necessary, or whether a reduced amount would work just as well.
5. Don’t be swayed by what you see on TV.
Some drug companies may be creating a market for certain drugs where there isn’t a substantial need. And if a particular drug you see on TV is necessary, there’s a good chance your doctor knows a cheaper alternative.
CNN.com offers some more handy tips for lowering your prescription drug costs.
You can also save money by contacting MedicareMall with any questions or concerns you may have about Medicare Part D, Medicare Advantage, or Medicare supplement insurance. At MedicareMall we take every client’s unique situation into account in order to find the best, most cost-efficient health coverage for everyone.
Contact MedicareMall now and one of our licensed, bonded representatives will be happy to do just that for you!