| Mon, Nov 01, 2010 @ 09:00 AM

Understanding Medicare Part D: Cost, Coverage & Prescription Drug Plan Options

Posted by Medicare Made Clear

Medicare Part D

Medicare Part D prescription drug plans are designed to help beneficiaries get affordable drug coverage. Prescription drug coverage can be purchased on its own or as part of a Medicare Advantage Part C plan.

What does Part D cost?

Medicare Part D is provided by private insurance companies so there can be a difference in the cost  and coverage offered from one plan to another. All plans will require a monthly premium. Depending on the plan you choose, you will pay a copayment, coinsurance or a deductible when you purchase your prescriptions.

In Medicare Part D, you’ll need to pay a share of the cost of the medications you take.  Each plan that provides drug coverage will share the costs a little differently.    Be sure to look at the details of the plan you’re interested in to see how it’s cost sharing works.  Beginning in 2011, you will pay 93% of the cost of generic drugs and about 50% of the cost most brand name drugs.

Part D can also be purchased as part of a Medicare Advantage Part C plan, often at no additional cost. Be sure to explore both Part C and stand alone Part D plans when researching Medicare prescription drug coverage.

What does Part D Cover?

Because Medicare Part D is provided by private insurance companies there are many plan options available to you. This is good news because there may be a plan available that is tailored to your prescription drug needs. There are certain prescriptions that will be covered under all plans while others will only be covered by certain plans.

Choosing a Plan

Because there may be a number of Part D plans available in your area it is important to review each plan. Not only do you want to review premiums and other out-of-pocket costs, you will want to review the formularies for the prescription drugs you are currently taking to see if they are covered under the plan.

Interested in learning more? Check out our Medicare Part D 101 post for more details.

Additional Resources

http://www.medicare.gov/choices/overview.asp

http://www.medicare.org/

http://rxroundtable.org/

The family of UnitedHealthcare® Medicare Solutions plans are insured or covered by an affiliate of UnitedHealthcare, a Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare contract and Medicare-approved Part D Sponsor.