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How to Pick a Medicare Part D Plan

By: Dylan Jones, Pharm.D.

Medicare Part D is vitally important for so many Americans.  However, navigating through the mail each plan sends and evaluating commercials broadcast on T.V. can be the biggest challenge most face as they attempt to sign up for this program.  Every plan (Humana, Aetna, Silverscript, Wellcare, etc.) all claim the same thing – they’re the best plan for you!  Unfortunately, this is not the case.  Only one plan is the best for a particular patient.  How are you, whether you are just turning 65 or participating in ‘Open Enrollment’, supposed to know which plan is actually the best?

The way to do this is to evaluate three aspects of each plan:

  1. Does the plan cover the medications I am currently taking? If so, what is the copay for each medication going to be?  Tracking down this information takes time and due diligence, but it can be done.
  2. How much am I required to pay out of pocket? This is determined by the plan’s premium and deductible.  Some plans do not have a deductible, while others charge $360.00 before the insurance begins to kick in. For more information on the costs of Medicare Plans are determined, read our article, “Medicare Part D Basics.”
  3. Is my pharmacy in network with the plan I am considering?  Some plans require the patients use a mail order pharmacy or a big chain pharmacy (Walgreens and CVS).  A common misconception is that these plans are cheaper because they make patients get their medications from a place that offers less customer service.  This is not true.

Figuring out this information on your own can certainly be difficult, but the out-of-pocket difference between plans can be thousands of dollars.  It is worth it to gather this information.

How can Collier’s help me?

Now here is the good news.  Collier Drug Stores will evaluate all of this information for you!  For our current patients, the process is quite simple.  Give us a call at 479-442-6262 and ask to arrange a Medicare Part D evaluation.  We then use the medications you are currently prescribed and evaluate what your total out-of-pocket expense (premium, deductible, and co-pays) will be for the year for each plan.  We provide you a print-out of the top three plans and allow you to choose the plan that works best for you.  We even provide the phone number for each plan.  All you then have to do is call and get signed up!

For patients that do not currently fill at one of our locations, we would love to have you join our family!  Simply call whichever of our nine locations is most convenient for you and ask us to transfer in your prescriptions.  It is that easy.  Once this is done, we will be able to complete the same evaluation for you!

Finding the appropriate plan for you and/or your loved one is one of the most important challenges to accomplish, both for financial and health reasons.  Because of this, Collier Drug is committed to making this an easy process for our patients.  Please let us know if we can help you!