Medicare allowable rates for medications can be gotten by those who have Medicare Advantage plan with Part D drug coverage included. You can sign up separately if you don’t have yet.
The Best Time to Sign Up Part D?
The best time to sign up Medicare Part D is in the time when you do Part B signing up. Even you are not going to take drugs prescription right now, you shouldn’t delay to sign up it. It is because if you sign up later then you should pay extra charge for every waited premium in each month. The charge of the premium penalty is different in each year. Last year, the penalty charge for those who late signing up to Part D was 1% of $33.13 monthly. It means that if you are late to sign up until 2 years, the extra charges to pay should be 24% of $33.13 or $8 extra charge for the penalty.
On the other hand, you can sign up to Creditable Coverage like retiree plan; it is the same drug coverage with Part D. if you sign up to it, you shouldn’t pay the penalty. Whether the plan is equivalent or not; you can ask the plan administrator.
What to Pay in Part D
The cost of Part D plan is about $32 per month in average. However, the prices can differ. Generally, if someone purchase a plan by paying higher premium, he will expense less when the plan is actually used. If in 2013 you have over $85,000 income as a single or $170,000 income with your married couple, then in 2015 you should pay extra for Part D. In 2015, the maximum Medicare allowable rates for medication in Part D plan is $320. The price could be lower in kinds of other plans. Besides, every plan also has different charge for every prescription. Certain plans could charge a co-pay of flat dollar and others may charge a prescription cost percentage, named co-insurance. The drugs are commonly sorted in tiers in most plans. The drugs with lower tiers will cost less.
The Part D’s Three Coverage Phases
There are three phases of Part D coverage and you can choose the best one as your needs. For those who don’t need expensive drugs regularly, then the first phase will be the best one to choose.
– Phase 1; Initial Coverage
In 2015, the Medicare allowable rates for medications to pay is about 26% of the medication costs until Medicare and you have spent $2,960 together. However, the cost is just the average cost. The expense might be different for each individual; based on the deductible, the amount of taken drugs, as well as the cost of the drugs.
– Phase 2; Donut Hole
If the expense plan for drugs made by you and Part D plan is about $2,960, then this phase called Coverage Gap will be the best choice. In this phase you should pay higher share of the drug costs. The cost to pay is 45% for brand name drugs and 65% for generic drugs. This phase will be closed in 2020, so the time after the year will only have two phases.
– Phase 3; Catastrophic Coverage
If the brand name drugs and generic drugs total cost is up to $4,700 per year, then the phase that should be taken is the Catastrophic Coverage. You should only pay 5% of the drug cost until the year end with this phase.
How to Choose a Good Plan of Part D
There are so many private plans that can be chosen according to your area. It depends on the premiums, levels of coverage and also co-payments, as well as the covered drugs. If you choose the right plan for the Medicare allowable rates for medications, it will help you saving up to thousands of dollars every year for the premiums and also drug expenses. The payment is for Part D coverage in each year, especially when you take new drugs for the first time.
– Start at the Official Website
Firstly, you should start to find the plan in the official website of Medicare; Medicare.gov. If you have found the home page, click “Find Health and Drug Plans” button in green color. Just follow the instructions written on the screen and then click OK. You can start from the beginning again if you mess up the process.
The ZIP code will be the first one to ask and then you should choose the drugs list to take. Make sure you have known the list of your drugs as well as monthly dosages, because the information will be asked in details. Just learn the website slowly because the step may be tedious for some people. The drug list will be saved as reference after you have done the process. Remember the ID of drug list and the password date so you will not face any problem when you want to retrieve. Skip this step for those who don’t have regular medications. Next, you should choose two pharmacies close to you place. Don’t choose two pharmacies from the same chain.
– Look at the Annual Costs of Your Drugs
The next page is Refine Your Plan Results. Check the “Prescription Drug Plans (with Original Medicare) box. Then, press the brown “Continue to Plan Results” box. You can choose to see 10 plans or all of them on the list top. The plan sorts will be the annual cost, drug list and the chosen pharmacies. The Medicare allowable rates for medications are including the premium and drug costs taken. See the plan member cost in average if you don’t take drugs.
– Check the Coverage Rules Out
Sometimes, every plan has more rules about certain drugs. You will see the detailed results under three headings for every pharmacy.
- Prior Authorization, which only gives prescription approval under certain medical circumstances specifically. You and the doctor should give the information before getting the drugs.
- Quantity Limits, which only give you certain medication amount at a time.
- Step Therapy, which will firstly ask you to try other types of drugs.
– Consider the Start Ratings
Star rating is had by each plan; five stars is the best. The factors that determine the star ratings are customer service, how many complains for the plan from the members, and how promptly and well the coverage appeals handled by the plan. Then you can determine the Medicare allowable rates for medications.