Now until December 7 is the Medicare open enrollment period. You can keep your existing Medicare coverage or switch to another insurance plan that meets your requirements better in 2023.
During open enrollment, there are several options and coverages that you may like to explore. Many retirees can save money by reviewing options for Part D Prescription Drug coverage. Medicare’s basic elements (Parts A and B) don’t cover most prescription drugs. Therefore, retirees who choose Traditional Medicare require additional coverage.
Most Medicare Advantage (MA) plans include prescription medication coverage if you choose an MA plan over Original Medicare. In this instance, separate Part D Prescription Drug coverage is not required.
As a Medicare enrollee, you may change your Part D Prescription Drug coverage without limits for pre-existing conditions during open enrollment each year. Because many insurance companies change their policies year-round, shopping can save you a lot of money. Unfortunately, the small print of these regulations resembles a rocket science manual, making it difficult for individuals to compare prices.
Explore working with an independent Medicare consultant to compare coverage options. The consultant can analyze the medications retirees use, find different policies that better match their needs, and project the changes in premiums and out-of-pocket costs. Medicare consultants can predict what each of us might save. Some of the savings can be huge, potentially more than $1,000 annually, by simply switching policies. Roughly half of these savings would emerge from decreased monthly premiums, while the other half would result from variations in out-of-pocket prescription expenditures. The anticipated savings were far more than the consultant’s charge.
What may account for such a discount? It is dependent on something known as a “formula.” In their formularies, prescription medication coverage plans identify the drugs they cover. They divide common medications into five categories or levels of benefit. Drugs in the lower tiers are often less expensive than those in the upper tiers. Insurance companies evaluate their formularies each year and may alter the tier level for specifically covered prescriptions.
Consider the fact that you may need to take a name-brand medication vs. a generic one. Name brands can fall into different tiers that raise out-of-pock expenses. If you use many prescription medications, some of which are costly, your savings may exceed predicted estimates.
Diane Omdahl, the founder of 65 Incorporated, a company that shops medication coverages for its clients, explains the possibilities: “A customer we assisted in 2020 takes seven drugs, two of which are pretty expensive. Last year, he did not pay attention and endured increased expenditures. In 2023, he can save about $6,400 by switching plans.
But you do not need a consultant to generate cost savings: You may utilize Medicare’s helpful website to conduct your comparison shopping whenever you have the time and feel comfortable doing so.
Locate a Medicare plan.
It is either a very excellent use of your time to comparison shop for coverage, or a very good use of your money to engage with an independent consultant, regardless of which choice you pick.