For many Americans, Original Medicare is not enough on its own. If you need prescription drug coverage, Medicare Part D can help supplement your health insurance and cover you for a variety of medications. Prescription drugs are one of the largest healthcare costs for individuals throughout the country.
Medicare Part D was created to cover prescription drugs and lower the cost of medication for millions of beneficiaries. There is a wide variety of drug plans available, but all Part D plans are required to cover certain types of medications. Medicare Part D plans also have categories that divide prescriptions by cost or brand.
Since Medicare Part A and Part B do not provide coverage for prescription medication, many Medicare recipients benefit from adding Part D coverage to their plans. Within Part D coverage, medication is divided into tiers.
Prescription drug costs differ based on tier. Drugs in the lowest tier cost the least, while drugs in the highest tier cost the most.
For example, you may be able to swap a brand-name prescription drug that exists in the highest tier for a generic drug in a lower one. This could save you hundreds on your copayment.
When you join a Medicare Part D plan, you must fill your prescriptions at in-network pharmacies. Depending on the plan you choose, you may be able to select mail-in prescription refills that provide you with several months’ worth of medication. This is helpful for those who cannot visit the pharmacy on a weekly or monthly basis.
Like most other government health insurance plans, you will need to pay a monthly premium to retain your coverage. The exact amount of your premium depends on the plan you choose as well as your income in prior years.
Medicare Part D plans also have an annual deductible as well as copayments. Like the premiums, deductibles vary by plan, but cannot exceed $445.
Combining Original Medicare with a Part D plan can be a bit confusing. Luckily, Medicare Part C can help.