September 30, 2021
Help Your Parents by Checking on This
If your parents are enrolled in Medicare I want you to help them check if they can pay less for their prescription drug medications. I recently heard of a son who thought his father was paying too much out of his own pocket for his medications. He was right! Dad is now enrolled in a new Part D plan that will save him more than $2,000 a year.
If your parent is enrolled in Original Medicare (and not Medicare Advantage), he or she should also have a separate Part D plan that covers prescription medications.
Every year from October 15th through December 7th everyone enrolled in a Part D plan is free to switch to a different plan for the coming calendar year. There are no gotchas here, you can switch to another Part D plan regardless of pre-existing conditions.
It’s a bit more complicated if a parent is enrolled in a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan that includes Part D drug coverage. Because Part D coverage is embedded in their overall plan, to make a switch to save on drug costs requires switching to another new MA plan. That’s entirely doable. But just be sure that the network of doctors and facilities in the new plan, and coinsurance, is right for your parent. You don’t want to save on drugs only to upend everything else.
The Annual Part D Check-Up
Very few enrollees bother to do an annual shopping comparison. That’s what happened to the Dad I heard about. He is in his 80s and just kept on paying the premiums for his original Part D plan. When a drug he was taking was no longer covered by his plan he just kept paying for it out-of-pocket. His son helped him see if there was another Part D plan that did cover that drug. And he sure found one, saving his Dad plenty.
I want you to help your parents make sure they have the best Part D plan. Here’s how