WHAT IS MEDICARE PART D?
Medicare Part D: One of the parts of Medicare that covers prescription drugs. You do not have to enroll in this prescription coverage; it is entirely optional, and many providers include it in their Medicare Advantage Plans.
Part D covers both generic and name-brand drugs; however, the costs may vary from one provider to another, and the types of drugs covered may also vary.
Like other parts of Medicare, if you want to add this to your plan, you must enroll during your eligibility period when you turn 65. If you do not and go back later and want to register, Medicare penalizes you with higher premiums that stay with you for life.
So, before you decide what the best Part D plan for 2021 is, you should understand how pricing for prescriptions works and how the plan’s cost is determined.
WHAT ARE TIERS?
As you look through various plans, you will see that prescriptions are usually broken down into tiers for pricing. These tiers are generally as follows:
Tier 1: These are the medications with the lowest copay. These are usually generic prescriptions.
Tier 2: This list includes some doctors preferred brand-name medications. The cost is somewhere between the lowest and the highest.
Tier 3: These prescriptions are brand-name, non-preferred medicines with a higher copay than tiers one and two.
Specialty tier: This is the top of the list, the costliest prescriptions with the highest copy.
Medications are often monthly expenses that you must consider when looking at Part D plans. Go through the medication lists that providers offer and determine what tier your medication falls in. This will tell you more about how much your plan is going to cost.
For example, suppose you compare a $25 monthly premium plan and one that has a $30 premium and find that your medications are tier two on the $25 plan and tier-one on the $30. In that case, you will ultimately save money by enrolling in the $30 program. You must consider all aspects.
WHAT IS A PREFERRED DRUG LIST?
Where a drug falls in the tiers is a state-to-state decision. The preferred drug list or PDL is a comprehensive list of drugs that Medicare covers without needing pre-authorization. Each state has its own PDL.
The powers-that-be put these lists together based on each medication’s cost and treatment success. If you are prescribed drugs that are not in the PDL, Medicare must approve the prescription before it is covered.
Compare your current medications to those in the PDL. If your medicine is not listed and you need approval, you will need your doctor to help you get consent. If your application are denied, you can file an appeal and try to show that you need the medicine in question.
WHAT ARE THE MEDICARE PART D COSTS?
The cost you pay for Part D plans in 2021 depends on several factors:
Did you enroll on time? If not, you will be penalized, which causes your premiums to increase.
Where you live: Costs can vary from state to state.
Your income is a factor in your premiums; talk to providers to determine how your income affects your premium.
These factors come together to determine what you will pay. Your monthly premiums are only one part of the equation. Your copay and your deductible govern your total cost. You must take these into account when looking at Part D plans for 2021 in Florida and other states.
SO, WHAT IS THE BEST MEDICARE PART D PLAN 2021?
Determining the best Part D plans for 2021 is a subjective task; it depends on who you ask and what they are using for determining factors. The best plans have these things in common:
• Wide variety of plans, not a one-size-fits-all plan
• Added benefits such as rewards programs for discounts on OTC products
• Large pharmacy networks
• Zero copay after deductible – or minimum copays across the board
• Low monthly premiums
• Low deductibles
• Excellent customer service
• Online pharmacy options
You probably will not find one plan with all of these, but you should find one that covers most of them if you do your research. Make a shortlist and compare prices before making your final decision.