You could let your current Medicare Part D plan renew automatically to save time researching better options. But why not take advantage of the open enrollment period? Doing so could help you save money in 2020 on prescriptions while ensuring all of your medication needs are met.
While auto-renewal may be the easiest move, you won’t have to work too hard to compare other prescription plans to your current one. Just follow the tips in this guide, and you’ll be on your way to optimizing your drug coverage in no time.
Speaking of time, the open enrollment period, which allows you to change Medicare Part D plans and other coverage, ends on December 7, 2019. In other words, you don’t have too much time to start researching.
The Risks of Auto-Renewal
As mentioned, doing nothing and letting your current Part D coverage renew can save you time. It can lead to unexpected issues, however, that could leave you out in the cold when it comes to your 2020 medication.
Insurers add and drop drugs to their formularies every year. If one of your prescriptions is on the drop list, you could see your medical costs increase as you scramble to pay for them out of pocket.
Companies can also adjust their premiums and deductibles. If you let your plan renew without double-checking all of the new year’s changes, you could experience sticker shock in 2020.
In short, failing to compare plans during open enrollment can lead to overpaying and under-covering yourself, which could put you in a financial and health-related bind.
How to Optimize Your Medicare Part D Plan
Use the Medicare.gov Plan Finder tool
This highly-used tool on the Medicare.gov website lets you shop and compare plans with ease. If you’ve used it in the past, you may notice some changes this year. Don’t be alarmed, as they were made to improve the user experience.
When entering your information into the Plan Finder, be as thorough as possible. Enter every single drug you use. If you forget just one, that innocent omission could lead to hundreds of dollars in added costs for 2020.
Look for preferred pharmacies
Just because a pharmacy is in the same zip code doesn’t mean you’ll get the same price for your medication. The Part D plan has preferred pharmacies that usually carry the lowest costs. Keep an eye on these when doing your research, as they’ll often lead to the most savings.
Focus on the lowest drug cost
Your premium and deductible are both crucial costs when it comes to comparing plans. As you search for the best Part D plan, however, use the lowest drug cost to get the most bang for your buck.
After you’ve entered all of your prescriptions into the Plan Finder and have your preferred pharmacies selected, sort the plans by “lowest drug cost.” Doing so will help you see the yearly cost for your meds to get a real insight into what you’ll pay. Otherwise, the system defaults to the lowest premium.