Help a Loved One Shop for Medicare Part D

Insurance, Medicare

November 08, 2018

If you, or anyone in your family is enrolled in Medicare Part D, please take some time before December 7th to make sure you have the best plan for your needs.

I know it’s tempting to just re-enroll in the same plan every year, but that can be such a costly mistake. And some of you may be shifting to a new plan. More than 800,000 Part D enrollees are being merged from their existing plan to a new plan in 2019. If you fall into that group, you need to make sure the new plan you’ve been placed in works for you.

Even if you have the option to stay in your current plan, it may no longer be your best option. A plan that was terrific for you three years ago, or five years ago may no longer be a good deal.

You may have a dozen or more Medicare Part D plans to choose from in your area, and the monthly costs for a given medication can vary by hundreds of dollars from plan to plan. That’s because each plan sets its own price for drugs and that can be changed each year.

And a drug that was inexpensive for you last year could have a much higher cost next year. Or maybe your medication needs have changed over the years. That’s another reason to shop around for the best Medicare Part D plan for your current needs.

The good news is that it’s not hard to comparison shop for the best Medicare Part D plan. You can use the free online Medicare Plan Finder to search for the best plan offered in your region; what’s so great is that you can tailor the search based on the exact drugs you take. I think you will be surprised at the wide difference in prices.

For married couples, please consider shopping separately for your own Part D plans. I imagine you may have different medications, right? Well, then it’s smart to see what plan makes the most sense based on the actual medications you need.

If you have an elderly loved one who isn’t likely to want to do the research, please help them. And if you have questions, call your local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) and ask for help sorting through your Part D options. This service is absolutely free.

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