Money-Saving Tips for Part D Drug Plans
Prescription drugs can take a big bite out of your budget. Medicare prescription drug plans may offer cost-saving benefits that you may not be aware of. It’s wise to talk to your agent or broker about how your plan works and how you can maximize the savings. Knowing some of these insider tips could save you a lot of money. Read on…
How to Get Discounts on Medicare Prescription Drugs
- Prescription Drug Discount Program – Your Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plan might offer a prescription drug discount program. This could be a separate program from your plan benefits or it might be included in your membership. Check your plan information or call your plan’s customer service number to find out more.
- Pharmacy Discount Programs – Some pharmacies offer discount programs to regular customers. Talk to your pharmacist and ask if they have a program you might qualify for. Talk with your Part D or Medicare Advantage plan about how a pharmacy discount card might work with your plan benefits.
- Prescription Discount Cards – Prescription discount cards are available through some companies and organizations. You can check online or ask your pharmacist for prescription discount cards that may be available to you. You may want to check with your Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plan to learn how a discount card might work with your plan benefits.
- Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs – Many drug companies have programs that offer discounts on the brand-name drugs they make. You can learn about programs by calling the company that makes your drug. You may also visit Medicare.gov’s PAP page and look up your drug to see if there are programs available. Many doctor’s offices have staff members who can help patients find these programs so ask your doctor for help.
How to Save Money with Your Medicare Drug Plan
- Pick a Network Pharmacy – Your Medicare prescription drug plans may have a pharmacy network. This is a group of pharmacies that offer extra savings and discounts to plan members. Your plan might also have a special arrangement with certain “preferred” pharmacies that could mean additional savings. Check your plan materials or call a plan representative for information about network pharmacies. Some plans offer $0 co-pays on generic drugs at these “preferred” pharmacies so it worth asking!
- Follow the Formulary – Your Medicare prescription drug plan probably has a formulary that lists the drugs it will cover. Drugs on your plan’s formulary list cost you less than drugs not on the list. Many formularies have tiers which divide drugs into groups based mostly on cost. Usually, the lower the tier, the lower your co-pay may be. You might be able to switch from a high-tier drug to one on a lower tier to help lower your costs. Ask your doctor if this is an option for you.
- Request an Exception – Your Medicare prescription drug plan can make exceptions so it sometimes pays to ask. They can change your drug from a higher tier to a lower tier to help with your costs. Check with your Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plan to learn how to request an exception.
- Give Generics a Chance – Generic drugs are the same as brand-name drugs in safety, strength, quality and how they work. They usually cost less, too! The lower cost of generic drugs could help you avoid the Medicare Part D coverage gap or pay less when you’re in it. Ask your doctor if this is an option for you.
- Give Mail-Order a Try – Many Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans offer a mail-order pharmacy service. Co-pays may be much lower than getting refills at the pharmacy. You may save even more by ordering a 90-day supply of your drugs at one time.
Review Your Medicare Drug Plan Each Year
- Annual Open Enrollment Period – Each year both Part D Prescription Drug Plans and Medicare Advantage Plans change. Sometimes they remove or add drugs from the formulary or move a drug from one tier to another – changing your cost at the pharmacy. The Annual Open Enrollment Period runs from October 15th to December 7th Medicare allows you an opportunity to review other plans that are available to make sure each year you have the best coverage possible. This is where the expertise of an insurance agent like myself can be really beneficial. You can call me and I’ll check all your medications against the plans available and tell you which ones will save you the most. To do this yourself you can use the planfinder tool on Medicare.gov or for the same cost (zero!) you can call me and I’ll help you. 🙂
Would you like my help?
If you would like to talk to me, ask a question or schedule a meeting at your home or a nearby meeting place, you can reach me at 207-370-0143 or use my simple form on the CONTACT ME page of this site to send an email message. The best part about working with me is that it will not cost you anything to meet with me to discuss your options or to review the plans that are available. I am paid by the insurance companies in the form of a commission if you enroll in a plan. You will not pay any more than anyone else and you are under no obligation whatsoever to enroll in any plans if you meet with me.
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