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How to Choose a Medicare Part D Drug Plan

If you are eligible for Medicare, then you’ve probably gotten a lot of offers for all kinds of prescription drug plans. With some research, you can find the right one for you.

Medicare Prescription Drug Plans are also called Part D plans. They help you pay for prescription drugs. Medicare works with insurance companies and other private companies to offer many options for buying prescription medicines. Look at each plan to see how much it costs, what drugs it covers, and what pharmacies it works with.

To get a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, you must already have Medicare Part A and Part B. You will pay for Part D in addition to what you pay for Parts A and B. If you have trouble with the cost, you may be able to get financial aid.

You can find and compare Part D plans available in your area by using the Medicare Plan Finder on www.medicare.gov.

Weigh your options carefully. Once you sign up for a plan, you may not be able to make changes for a year.

Keep these things in mind so that you can choose the plan that meets your needs:

Make sure the drugs you need are on the plan's drug list, called its formulary. A drug plan won't help pay for medicines that aren't on its list. Be thorough and check the details. Even if a drug is on the formulary, look closely to make sure it's covered at the dose and quantity you need. Also look to see if the plan requires you to get prior approval from your doctor for the medicine before they help pay for it.

If drugs you need aren't listed, talk to your doctor before you enroll in a plan. Your doctor may be able to prescribe different medicines that will work as well.

Compare the costs. The deductibles, premiums, and copays or coinsurance for Medicare prescription drug plans will differ.

Check the pharmacies. Some plans will only work with certain pharmacies. Make sure that the pharmacy that you use, or another one nearby, is on the list. If you like to have your medicines delivered by mail, check for that, too.

After you make your choice, call the specific plan to find out how to enroll. You will probably receive a form in the mail that you can fill out and return. You can also enroll online.

For more information about Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, see the Medicare web site at www.medicare.gov or call 800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227).

WebMD Medical Reference

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