Tips for Lowering Your Out-of-Pocket Drug Costs Pt 2

Tips for Lowering Your Out-of-Pocket Drug Costs Pt 2

Mail order is not only practical if you take long-term medications, but mail-order pharmacies can cost much less than retail pharmacies. Many policies that offer mail order pharmacies also offer for this service as free standard shipping.

Check your authorization for Medicare utility

Medicare sometimes provides financial support to low-income Medicare beneficiaries with limited resources. If you qualify for the Medicare Extra Help program, based on a sliding scale, Medicare may pay the full expenses of your drug costs. The National Council on Aging has an online tool to help you determine if you are eligible for additional help and other programs, and to help you apply.

Use tools like the AARP calculator for donut hole

AARP has developed an interactive tool to help you determine how close you are to reaching the insurance gap in Medicare Part D (“uninsured period”). You are in the insure gap once your plan spends $3,750 on prescription drug coverage.

The tool also helps you find equivalent but cheaper alternatives to the medications you have already taken. If cheaper and therapeutically similar drugs are identified, the tool will create a letter to present to your doctor and ask about the pros and cons of the change. Consider joining a policy that provides additional insurance in the gap

While you are insuring the coverage gap for Part D, you are responsible for paying a greater share of the cost of prescription drugs. In the insurance gap in 2018, you will not pay more than 35% of the cost of the brand prescription drug policy and 44% of the generic price. However, some policies provide additional insurance in the gap, which could help you save money if you regularly take many medications. The types of additional insurance may include:

Lower co payments for generic drugs than standard Medicare benefits

Total insurance in the gap (some policies, for example, some employer-sponsored policies do not have insurance gaps)

If you choose a policy that provides additionalinsurance in the gap, you may have to pay a higher monthly premium for thisadditional benefit. If your annual drug costs are not high enough to fill thegap, or if you do not follow the policy’s rules for obtaining this additionalinsurance, such as mail-order pharmacy or generics, you may end up payinghundreds of dollars more in premiums for this feature than you receive in thedrug benefits. If you would like more information about Medicare prescription drug policies, your broker will be happy to answer any questions you may have. To request personalized information by email or make a callback, you can also see the policies near you.

You must continue to pay your premium for Medicare Part B.

The pharmacy network, formulary, and /or provider network may be altered at any time. You will receive a notificationif necessary.  Restrictions, co payments and limitations may apply. Premiums, benefits and/or co payments may change by January 1st of each year.