If you’re looking for a Medicare plan that will cover your prescriptions, you have two options. You can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan or add a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plan to your traditional Medicare.
According to a 2008 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, almost one-third of U.S. seniors (ages 57 to 85) are taking five or more prescriptions. Having one of these plans would help millions of seniors buying medications to maintain or improve their health. Coming from the private market, Medicare Advantage plans are not available in all areas, but most beneficiaries can choose from up to a couple dozen plans. On average, premiums on these plans are expected to fall by four percent in 2012.
For Part D plans, many states seem to have lost about half-a-dozen options, but that’s only a handful of the plans that are still available. The average Part D plan monthly premium will be around $30 in 2012, which is 76 cents less than in 2011, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
You can drop a Medicare Advantage plan and go back to traditional Medicare from January 1 to February 14. During this time, you may also enroll in Part D plans so that your prescriptions will be covered even if the Advantage plan you drop didn’t not cover your prescriptions.
Medicare Advantage and Part D plans each have different rules and requirements. It is important to check which prescription drugs are covered by each plan to prevent high out-of-pocket costs. You can call us to get a professional opinion, for free, on which plan would best meet your needs and budget. We have independent and experienced advisors to help you get your money’s worth.
Wiley Long is founder and president of Medigap Advisors, and is passionate about helping people navigate the confusing waters of Medicare. He is the author of The Medicare Playbook: Designing Your Successful Health Coverage Strategy, a clear and simple explanation so you can make the most of your Medicare coverage. For more information visit www.MediGapAdvisors.com.