Depending on where you live, you may have over 30 stand-alone drug plans to select from. To see what plans are available to you, you can go to www.medicare.gov and put in your zip code as well as the various drugs you take (noting dosage and frequency). Before selecting a pharmacy, you may want to go ahead and see which plans cover all of your drugs most cost effectively, noting which plans have a deductible, the premium of the drug plan, and whether all of your drugs are on the plan’s formulary.
After identifying several plans, then go back in and put in your pharmacy choice to see if that will make any difference in how cost effective the original plans you viewed will be for you.
You may decide to ask your physician to replace one or more of your drugs with a lower cost generic since not only does the actual cost of the drug add up to take you to the “gap” or “donut hole”, but also look at what you will be paying out of pocket because your drug is on a higher tier level.
When I meet with my clients, we review various options before they make their final selection. Whatever drug plan is selected, you will keep that plan for the current year. Your next opportunity to select a new drug plan will be during annual enrollment unless there is a 5 star drug plan in your area – then you do get to make one more change in the calendar year.