By Max Greenberg
SENIOR FOCUS: Open Period to Save on Medicare Part D Drug CostsUploaded: Nov 9, 2015
During the open enrollment period Oct 15 - Dec 7, 2015, seniors (that's some of us, your parents, your neighbors, your extended family) can shop and compare and switch to another plan which can save you a lot of money especially if you take "expensive" medications. As a testament to how difficult it appears to most folks to shop, compare and switch, only about 14% of seniors will go to the effort of making a change. Under Medicare rules, Rx drug plans can change the premiums, co-pays and deductibles they charge you every year. All they have to do is send you their Annual Notice of Change every September. Many count on folks not bothering to read it or realize how it will affect them. But there are free tools available to make the comparisons based on the type of medication you take, frequency, and dosage. The Medicare Plan Finder on the Medicare.gov website https://www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan/questions/home.aspx is an easy to use tool where you enter the medication name, frequency and dosage and you’ll find out what the various Part D plans will charge you for your specific medication. Since the cost of the same exact drug, dosage and frequency can vary by over $500, it obviously can be well worth the effort to research and switch.
Read the great article in the AARP Bulletin written by Patricia Barry at http://pubs.aarp.org/aarpbulletin/201511_DC?folio=4&pg=4#pg4 that provides other tools for comparing your Rx drug costs, including calling Medicare to do the same search and comparison for you (I can’t guarantee how long you might be on hold though.)
Please share your experiences switching your Part D Medicare drug plans if you've done so in the past. How easy or hard did it turn out to be? How much money did you save?