By Kelle Turner
The year 2020 has been a year like no other. The global pandemic has impacted every aspect of our lives. From entertainment and sporting events, to travel and family celebrations—everything has changed.
Selecting a Medicare prescription drug plan (also known as Medicare Part D) will also look differently this year. Since the in-person resources used in previous years—such as local workshops or broker consultations—may now need to be scheduled well in advance or held virtually, starting this research early is more important than ever to make sure you choose the plan that works best for your needs and budget.
People in Milwaukee Already Know!
If you are one of the more than 72% of Medicare eligible people in Wisconsin who enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan, you already know how important it is to take the time to compare plans. This is especially true for those new to Medicare because the choices made now can impact your costs for the year ahead.
Reviewing the plans available in Milwaukee early will help ensure you choose the one that best meets your prescription needs next year.
Need Help to Understand Medicare Part D?
Here are some tips and resources to compare plans during the Medicare Open Enrollment season that ends Monday, Dec. 7.
1. TIP: Look beyond premiums! While reviewing your options, look at the multiple factors which can affect your plan’s overall costs. While a lower premium might save you money upfront, these plans can have much higher copayments, which over time can make it more expensive.
RESOURCE: Find Reliable Tools. RoadmapForMedicare.com is a good resource that offers educational videos, recorded webinars, easy-to-understand articles with helpful tips and an eBook that helps compare how each plan covers the medications you take.
2. TIP: Coverage Changes Annually. Plans change every year, so do not assume your coverage will remain the same. Take the time to understand how your medications will be covered in 2021. Check out the plan’s pharmacy network and make sure home delivery is an option.
RESOURCE: Compare Plans Online. Medicare offers an online tool to compare how plans in Milwaukee cover the medications you need. The tool is available at: https://www.medicare.gov/drug-coverage-part-d. If you are being treated for a chronic condition such as diabetes, high cholesterol or hypertension, talk with your doctor so that when you use the online compare tool you not only check your current medications, but also those you may need next year.
Choosing the Best Plan for You Can Save You Money in 2021
Do not procrastinate! Once Part D enrollment closes on Dec. 7 you will need to wait another year before you can switch to a plan that better fits your needs.
About the Author:
Kelle Turner has more than 13 years of experience in pharmacy. She holds a Doctor of Pharmacy degree and a Master of Business Administration degree from Drake University.