The way Medicare is broken down can be difficult to navigate. If you’re confused about what Medicare Part D is and what it covers then read this article.
Did you know that 76 percent of Americans age 50 and over say they are currently taking prescription medications regularly? However, paying for those necessary drugs can be a challenge.
Having health insurance can help cover medication. Those still working may have a health insurance plan that offers comprehensive coverage. Other older Americans use Medicare, which doesn’t always provide prescription drug coverage.
The good news is that there are ways to get prescription drug coverage, even on Original Medicare. There are add-ons, including Medicare Part D, that can help you afford your medication. Here’s what you need to know.
Understanding the Parts of Medicare
Medicare coverage is divided into several parts. These parts all offer different benefits and have separate costs.
Part A is free for most Americans. Medicare Part A covers hospitalization and inpatient care, including prescriptions given during inpatient treatment.
Part B is more like traditional health insurance. It offers coverage for outpatient procedures, doctor’s visits, and preventive care. There is a monthly premium for Part B, and together Part A and B comprise Original Medicare.
Medicare Part C is known as Medicare Advantage. These plans are an all-in-one alternative to Original Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurers and vary widely in costs and benefits.
Finally, there’s Medicare Part D. This part covers prescription drug coverage and is offered by private insurers. You can shop around and compare Part D plans to get what you need.
Choosing a Medicare Part D Plan
Some people want to stay with Original Medicare instead of choosing a Medicare Advantage plan. They miss out on some benefits, but they can get the same benefits no matter where they are in the country.
Those that often travel or don’t like having to stay in a provider’s network will want to continue with Original Medicare and use Medicare Part D to get prescription coverage. It’s important to note that the government doesn’t offer Part D, so there may be limits on providers.
The key to choosing a Medicare Part D plan that works for you is reviewing the formulary. Make sure that the prescriptions you use are listed.
There will also be different tiers in the formulary. This relates to how much you have to pay out-of-pocket for each medication. You’ll want to choose a Part D plan that has affordable options for the medicine you need.
Medicare Part D may also offer coverage for vaccines and recommended shots. You’ll want to check with the insurer before you purchase your plan.
Get the Prescription Medication You Need
Original Medicare has many benefits for seniors, and not everyone wants to move to a Medicare Advantage plan with a limited network. Fortunately, you can use Medicare Part D to get the prescription medications you need.
Because the government doesn’t offer Part D, the coverage and drugs listed vary. Be sure you shop around with various insurers and choose a plan that includes the medication you need. You’ll also need to look at the monthly premium and the copayments you’ll be responsible for.
If you’d like help understanding the parts of Medicare and choosing a plan that makes sense for you, we’re here to help.