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Choosing a Part D Prescription Drug Plan

Before you choose a Part D prescription drug plan, it's important to know if you need one.

Along with Medicare Part A hospital and Part B medical insurance, the government expects you to have coverage for Part D prescription drugs. But you don't get a Part D plan from the government. You'll get one through a private insurance company like us.

You can also have prescription drug coverage that isn't Part D but meets the same standards. That's called having creditable drug coverage.

Either way, don't go without Part D coverage or its equivalent. If you do and then sign up for Part D later, you'll pay more for your coverage.

Get started by reading the tab below that applies to you. If you don't see the right one, try visiting this page on Medicare.gov. Then if you need a Part D plan, we'll tell you how to choose one that's best for you.

How do you get your health insurance?

How to choose a Part D plan

Like other kinds of health coverage, the main things to consider are:

  • How much you use your plan.
  • Finding the right balance of monthly payment versus what you pay when you go to the pharmacy.

Here's how it works. If you take few or no prescriptions right now, you may want to choose a plan with lower monthly payments. But these plans typically have higher out-of-pocket costs. That means you'll pay more when you do need a prescription filled. But if you don't use your plan much, it may be worth paying less each month.

Do you take several prescriptions? A plan with a higher monthly payment but lower out-of-pocket costs could be better for you. The additional amount you spend on your monthly payment could be offset by what you'll save at the pharmacy.

You should also consider the kinds of medications you're taking when you're shopping for a Part D plan. Brand name drugs cost more than generics. Your share of the cost will probably be more, too-- sometimes a lot more. Be sure to review what the Part D plan charges you in copays for generic versus brand name drugs.

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Page Last Updated Thu Jun 26 16:10:58 EDT 2014