Changing Parts D Plans Might Lower Your Drug Costs

medicare prescription drug plans

Is my current Part D Drug Plan right for me?

Medicare Prescription drug plans (Medicare Part D) help provide coverage for prescription drug costs. Part D plans are very different, and the costs can vary greatly depending on the plan you choose. Even for the same drugs, there can be differences in costs for each plan within the same city. Comparing Part D plans is crucial, and choosing the right one for you should be considered an important financial decision.

Should I consider switching Medicare Part D Plans?

If you find that your Medicare Part D coverage is not meeting your healthcare or financial needs, you may want to consider changing plans. Your medications may change from year to year. The Medicare Part D Plan that you chose may have changed. You may have been surprised by the costs, or you may have experienced a coverage gap. Even if you’re satisfied with your current plan, costs may be much higher this year. Additionally, you may not be sure if your plan is meeting all of your needs.

It is important to understand your options. Educating yourself about your current plan (and its changes) and other plans allows you to decide whether to keep your current plan or switch to another plan. Many Medicare beneficiaries find that they save money by switching plans, so it is worth taking the time to explore all your options.

Will I have to pay a penalty for switching plans?

No, there is no penalty for switching plans. However, you can only switch plans during the Annual Election Period. You can only enroll and disenroll one time during each year’s period.

When can I switch plans?

You can switch plans during the Annual Election Period. For 2010, the period is November 15, 2010 through December 31, 2010. If you do not enroll/switch by December 31, 2010, you may not be eligible until the next Annual Election Period in 2011, which will be October 15 through December 7, 2011.

From January 1 to February 15, 2011, beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans will be allowed to sign up for a stand-alone Part D plan if they drop out of their Advantage plan and return to Original Medicare during this time period.

If I switch plans during the Annual Election Period, when will my new Part D coverage begin?

If you switch/enroll during the Annual Election Period between November 15 and December 31, 2010, your Medicare Part D coverage will begin on January 1, 2011 and will continue for the entire year.

Should I compare Medicare Part D plans before switching?

Yes, you should compare Medicare Part D Plans. Comparing plans can save you money, because it can help you select a plan that is cost-efficient based on your specific medication needs.

Medicare Part D plans vary greatly. A Part D drug plan structures benefits differently than other Medicare plans. Sometimes it can be challenging to determine the plan that will best meet your needs, and it can be difficult to determine your actual costs within a given plan.

Our free, easy to use Medicare Plan Comparison Tool allows you to compare plans side by side. By exploring your options, you can make a knowledgeable decision on a plan that best meets your needs. Having complete information on Medicare Part D Plans can save you money on your prescription drug-related health care.

If you find out that your current plan is still the best for you, do nothing and you will automatically be enrolled in it for the following year.

Will it take much time to learn about other plans?

Our free Medicare Plan Comparison Tool makes it easy for you to find the plan that’s right for you.

The process is very simple:

  • Step 1: Enter your information – You will enter your zip code and an online medicine cabinet with your current medications.
  • Step 2: Explore your options – View the participating plans. You can view side-by-side comparisons of the plans that most interest you, including detailed cost information such as premiums, deductibles, co-pays and the drugs covered by each plan.
  • Step 3: Apply online – Select the plan you want and enroll online. Complete our secure, simple online form. You will need to provide information about your Medicare eligibility and current health insurance