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How to Compare Medicare Part D Plans

A woman speaking with a SelectQuote agent on the phone is happy to learn how she can compare Medicare Part D plans

Medicare Prescription Drug plans, also known as Medicare Part D, help cover the costs associated with prescription medications. From making sure your prescriptions are covered to finding the best price available, here are a few tips to help you compare and choose a Medicare Part D plan. 

First Step: Enroll in Medicare

In order to enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan, you must be enrolled in Medicare Part A or Medicare Part B. If you want to join a Medicare Advantage plan with prescription drug coverage, you must first be enrolled in Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B). 

When Should I Enroll in Medicare Part D?

Understand the Goal of a Prescription Drug Plan

Medicare Prescription drug plans help cover the cost of prescription drugs, both brand-name and generic drugs, giving you broader healthcare coverage and potentially saving you money. Original Medicare doesn’t typically cover all prescription medication costs, so a Medicare Part D plan can be purchased as a stand-alone plan to supplement Original Medicare or to accompany a Medicare Supplement Plan. 

Keep Your Prescriptions in Mind

Medicare drug plans have a list, also known as a formulary, of covered prescription drugs. Plans may include both brand name and generic prescription drugs, but plans can choose which drugs are covered and which ones aren’t. Generally, plans include at least two drugs in the most commonly prescribed categories and classes. You’ll want to make sure your prescriptions are covered before you sign up for a plan. 

Consider the Prescription Drug Plan Costs and Coverage

When choosing prescription drug coverage, you’ll have to decide whether to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan that includes prescription drug coverage or a stand-alone prescription drug plan that works with Original Medicare.

Generally, using drugs that are on your plan’s formulary will save you money, but if you use a prescription that isn’t on your plan’s list, you’ll likely pay full price instead of a copayment or coinsurance. Since prescription drug plans are offered through private insurance companies, the monthly premium and annual deductible can vary widely. 

When evaluating and comparing Medicare prescription drug plans, you’ll want to consider the following questions:

  • Does the plan cover all of your current prescriptions?
  • Are the premiums for the plan competitive compared to other options?
  • Does the plan work with your preferred pharmacy or allow you to order your medications through the mail?

SelectQuote Can Help You Find the Right Medicare Part D Plan For You

We independently shop some of the most trusted insurance companies and compare Medicare options available to you in just minutes. Save yourself time and the hassle of navigating the complexities of Medicare and let us do the shopping for you. There’s no obligation to enroll.

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