How to choose a Medicare Part D Plan for 2018
Many Medicare beneficiaries are confused as to how to choose a Medicare Part D for 2018 but it really can be a simple process. The very first step is to go to Medicare.Gov. Once there, you will see on the homepage three green boxes. You’ll want to go to the link “Find health and drug plans”. On the next page you will add your Zip Code in the General Search box and click on “Find Plans”. Now there are 4 steps to get your results.
Step 1 of 4 Enter Information
In choosing a Medicare Part D plan in the first step there are two questions that need to be answered. The first is “How do you get your Medicare coverage?”. The second question asks “Do you get help paying for your prescription drugs?” Once these are answered you will click “Continue to Plan Results”.
Step 2 of 4 Enter your Drugs
The next area is where you will enter each of your prescriptions, dosages, frequency etc. If you have already entered your prescription drugs at an earlier time. You could have saved your Drug List ID and password date. The benefit of saving your Drug List ID is that this will allow you to go back at a later date without having to populate all your medications and dosages again.
Step 3 of 4 Select your pharmacies
In this step you will select up to two pharmacies to get a better idea of how much your prescription drugs will cost. If your pharmacy isn’t in a plan’s network, the cost you will see is the full price of the drug with no insurance. Please also note that some plans offer lower drug prices at preferred network pharmacies, compared to other pharmacies in the network. Trying different pharmacies can change the costs significantly so it can pay to check out more than one pharmacy.
Step 4 of 4 Refine your plan results
Now that you have selected your pharmacy you will see a summary of different types of plans. At this point you select “Drug Plans Only” and click on “Continue to plan results. This is where you will then see in order which plan will have the “Lowest Remainder of the Year retail costs” Remember, October 15 – December 7th of each year is when you can make your selection for 2018. The 2018 Medicare Part D plan information will not be available until October 1st. You’ll be able to sort results by Retail or mail order and several other ways. If you click on any of the plans, you will then see more details about the plan like Drug Costs During Coverage Levels, Estimated Monthly Drug Cost, Drug Coverage Information, and Pharmacy & Mail Order Information.
Finally, once you have chosen your plan, you will notice a link to the right of the plan that says “Enroll”. Simply click on that link and complete your enrollment. You’ll need your just basic information and the the information on your Medicare card. You can also call Medicare directly and they will walk you through this whole process and even enroll you right over the phone. Medicare is open 24/7/365 and can be reached at 1-800-Medicare. It’s best to call them in the “Off” hours.
By Joe DeAngelis
Medicare Insurance Adviser