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The out-of-pocket cost of prescription drugs can be a serious drain on your retirement income. Fortunately, Medicare Part D may be able to help you with the costs of prescription drugs.
Many people have prescription drug coverage under Medicare Part D. You can enroll in a stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, or a Medicare Advantage prescription drug plan. Both of these types of coverage:
If you take several different prescription drugs, or if you take any expensive medications, it might be a good idea for you to sign up for a Medicare prescription drug plan. These plans may cover your prescription drugs.
Medicare prescription drug plans may have certain out-of-pocket costs. Your plan might charge a monthly premium and may have an annual deductible you have to pay before the plan covers your medications. And you might have to pay a coinsurance or copayment for your prescription drugs.
Are you curious about Medicare prescription drug plans in your area? You can start comparing plans right away by entering your zip code where indicated on this page. You can enter your prescription drugs to see which plans cover them, and at what cost.
It’s important to understand that just because you have a prescription drug plan, it doesn’t guarantee that your medications are covered. Every Medicare prescription drug plan has its own formulary. That’s a list of covered prescription drugs. Not every plan might cover all your prescription drugs.
On the other hand, every Medicare prescription drug plan must cover medications in certain drug categories. The plans sort the drugs into cost-based tiers. Usually you pay the lowest coinsurance amount for generic medications. You typically pay more for brand name medications.
Also, Medicare protects you from high prescription drug costs in another way. If you spend a certain amount of money on covered prescription drugs in one year ($5,100 in 2019), you enter the “catastrophic phase” under Medicare Part D. From then until the end of that year, you’ll only pay a small coinsurance or copayment for each covered prescription.
Perhaps you take a specialty medication for treatment of a chronic condition or serious illness such as cancer, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or rheumatoid arthritis. If you can’t afford your share of the cost of the medication on the plan’s specialty tier (usually the highest tier of covered medications), ask your doctor to request the plan make an exception to cover the prescription drug at a lower tier level for you. That means you’d pay less for the prescription. The plan doesn’t have to grant the request, but it will consider it in relation to your health-care needs, and whether or not a less expensive medication could treat you.
A variety of federal, state and corporate assistance programs may help pay for your prescription drugs if you qualify.
Even if you don’t qualify for help paying for prescription drugs, you might be able to use discount coupons. Some pharmaceutical companies have discount coupons online for certain brand-name drugs. Ask your pharmacist for information about these coupons.
Remember, with the click of a button you can instantly start comparing Medicare prescription drug plans. Just type in your zip code on this page and you’re on your way to valuable plan information. You can even enroll online in minutes.
eHealth's Medicare website is operated by eHealthInsurance Services, Inc., a licensed health insurance agency doing business as eHealth. The purpose of this site is the solicitation of insurance. Contact may be made by an insurance agent/producer or insurance company. eHealth and Medicare supplement insurance plans are not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. government or the federal Medicare program. We offer plans from a number of insurance companies.