How to Find a New Prescription Drug Plan
Welcome Medicare Nation!
Many clients have been contacting me the last several weeks to tell me their Medicare plan has dropped one or several of their prescription drugs from the plan’s formulary.
MAPD plans and Stand Alone Prescription Drug Plans (PDP) may change their formularies during the calendar year. Two examples of when they can do this, is if a prescription drug is found to be unsafe by the FDA. If a prescription drug may cause serious injury or death, they will remove the drug from the market. All Medicare plans would be forced to remove that drug from their formulary.
Another reason a drug may be removed or added is when a generic of the brand drug comes out. This year Crestor, a brand drug for high cholesterol, became generic. With generic drugs available, the cost of the drug to the Medicare plan goes down. The plan adds the generic to their formulary and either keeps Crestor in addition to the generic, or removes Crestor from the formulary and keeps the generic versions.
If you are on a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plan (MAPD), you are locked in the plan, until the open enrollment period which begins on October 15th this year, or you have a special enrollment period.
You can go to www.Medicare.gov to look up special election periods, or you can listen to episode #36 published on April 15, 2016.
Stand Alone Prescription Drug Plans and MAPD plans, which have prescription drugs included, will be announcing their 2017 plans and formularies by October 1, 2016.
Several Medicare Advantage Plans or Stand Alone Prescription Drug Plans may be available in your area.
How do you compare plans to find the right one for you or your loved one?
Use the official Medicare Website Plan Finder’s database.
Go to www.Medicare.gov
When you enter a brand drug, a box will come up asking you if you’d prefer to check the “generic.”
If you take the brand, keep the brand drug. If you use the generic – choose the generic. If you don’t know…..choose the generic for now. You can ask your pharmacist or doctor later.
All the drug plans in your geographical area available to you will be displayed.
Now you can look at each plan to determine which plans have all your prescription drugs and which ones do not.
You can enroll directly from the Medicare.gov portal, call Medicare directly or call your insurance agent or better yet – your Medicare Advisor.
You have several options.
With your Prescription ID# and the Password Date, you will be able to come back at a later date and edit your list.
Start getting your list together, so it will be easier for you to check out 2017 plans!
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