This Thursday, October 15 marks the start of another Medicare Open Enrollment period, which runs through Monday, December 7, 2015. Every year Medicare beneficiaries can evaluate their plan choices and make changes based on their individual needs. This is especially important for Medicare Part D prescription drug plans as plans and health needs change from year to year.
- Are my medicines covered?
Make a list of the medicines you take regularly or expect to take over the year. Then use Medicare’s Plan Finder to find plans in your area that cover your medicines as well as the costs associated with them.
- What are my costs?
Shop around among the range of options available to find a plan that works for you financially. Check monthly premiums as well as out-of-pocket costs associated with the medicines you need.
- Does this plan work for me?
Costs and coverage are critical in finding the right plan, but so is convenience. Does the plan offer mail order? Is the pharmacy you prefer to visit covered under the plan? Be sure to look at all the pieces of a Part D plan – not just the premium – to find the plan that works best for you.
The competitive structure of Part D is great for beneficiaries; plans offer a variety of options to consumers and you can find a plan that best meets your individual needs. Even if you’re happy with your current plan, be sure to see if anything has changed for the coming year to make sure it will still work for you. Open Enrollment is the time to shop, so don’t miss out!
Allyson Funk Ally is a former senior director of public affairs at PhRMA focused on advocacy issues for the biopharmaceutical industry. Her expertise includes Medicare, Medicaid, 340B, health reform and more. Prior to PhRMA, her experience included leading health communications for a large membership organization, supporting public affairs clients and working for the governor of Louisiana.