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Medicare Open Enrollment: Choosing the Part D drug plan best for you

Henry County Health Center | November 1st, 2017

Choosing the Medicare Part D drug plan that is best for you in 2018 doesn’t have to be hard if you remember these four things.

  • The drugs you take need to be on the plan’s formulary. A formulary is a list of drugs that a plan covers. If a drug isn’t covered you will pay the full cost of the drug out of your pocket.
  • Look at the total cost of the drug plan, not just the premium or deductible or co-payments. A plan with a deductible may cost less than a plan without a deductible if all your drugs are covered and the costs for each drug tier are lower.
  • Another important consideration that is often overlooked is plan restrictions. Plans may limit the quantity they will supply of certain drugs, require you to get approval before they will fill a prescription or ask you to try similar lower cost drugs before they will cover a more expensive drug.
  • Check if your pharmacy is preferred and in-network. Some plans have both preferred and non-preferred pharmacies in their network. You may pay less for drugs at a preferred pharmacy. If your pharmacy is not in-network you will pay the full cost for your drugs.
    Part D plans can change everything–formulary, costs, restrictions and pharmacy networks from year to year. Use the Medicare Open Enrollment Period, October 15 to December, to compare plans and be sure you have the best plan to meet your needs for 2018.Call Henry County SHIIP at 319-385-6774 for help comparing plans. Or call the SHIIP state office at 1-800-351-4664 to find a SHIIP office closer to you. SHIIP is a free, confidential service of the State of Iowa. If you find that your current coverage still meets your needs, then you’re done. If you need to change plans be sure you get it done during the Open Enrollment.