A Quick Fix for Those Paying Too Much for Prescriptions
Research has shown Prescription Drug Plans are incredibly difficult to figure out, and over 90% of Medicare recipients did not purchase the most affordable plan option in 2011. In fact, on average, people who switched to the most affordable Prescription Drug Plan during the Annual Enrollment Period saved over $650 over the course of the year.
The question remains: How can such a high percentage of educated and intelligent Medicare recipients purchase the wrong plan?
Easy answer: Every prescription drug plan available has a different monthly premium, different drug formulas, variable deductible, and various co-payments associated with different prescriptions. Therefore, choosing the perfect plan based upon your unique list of prescriptions and geographic location is equivalent to finding a needle in a haystack. Most people give up and purchase a prescription drug plan from the same insurance company from whom they purchased their Medicare Supplement Plan, or a plan from a company they are familiar with. This is the easy solution, but can be very costly.
To make matters worse, these prescription drug plans change every year! It is common for individuals to purchase a great plan the first year they enroll in Medicare and keep that plan for the rest of their lives, despite changes in their prescriptions, monthly premiums, and co-payments. The astute Medicare recipient will compare Prescription Drug Plans every year and make a change during the Annual Enrollment Period.
The Quick Fix
Visit www.Medicare.gov, where you can use their Plan Finder tool to compare all prescription drug plans based upon the medications you are actually taking. Sounds easy right? Well, not so fast… while you don’t need to be a computer scientist to figure it out, knowing how to use the tool and having a good understanding of how these insurance plans work is important. Medicare did a great job of simplifying a search process that is incredibly daunting, but using the tool effectively is like self diagnosing your ailments using WebMD (you might have it right, but probably not).
The Quicker Fix
Make your insurance broker who helps you with your Medicare plans create a prescription drug plan comparison report for you, using Medicare’s Plan Finder. Your insurance broker will know exactly how these plans work, and can do the work for you for free! They can present you with a detailed report showing the three most affordable plan options based upon your unique prescriptions. If your broker doesn’t know how to use the Plan Finder tool, or refuses to help, it might be time to find a more knowledgeable insurance professional.