Last Minute Tip: Compare Drug Plans

Once a person on original Medicare chooses and enrolls in a Medicare drug plan, it’s common for the individual to continue in the same plan from year to year (if offered) simply because many seniors don’t want to change (for a variety of reasons).

But here’s the reality: it usually “pays to compare drug plans” Why? Because the “best deal” last year may not necessarily be the best deal this year. Drug plans contract with Medicare on an annual basis, and can change from year to year. So, even if your medications haven’t changed, the drug plans may have.

Just this week, Medicare Specialist Bonnie Woodard saved one client $6,000 in annual drug costs by comparing drug plans and discussing costs of generics versus brand name. Since 2006, she has been comparing drug plans for clients and more and more she is finding that costs for the drug plans vary widely, sometimes thousands of dollars annually.

It usually is WORTH IT to compare Medicare drug plans for people on original Medicare. How? The Medicare Plan Finder tool is the best way. If a person can’t do it themselves, they can call 1-800-MEDICARE (24/7). Have the drug list and Medicare card handy. If you find a better plan and enroll, it will automatically take the place of the old one effective 1/1/16.

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