October 15 – December 7th is open enrollment for anyone needing to sign up for or change their Medicare benefits. Brokers Assisance, Inc. in Westminster, Colorado, has been busy preparing for the annual event. One of the most recent changes is the Part D prescription drug coverage and new Medicare Advantage plans.
In 2013, drug plan basic premiums will be $30, compared with $29.67 in 2012. Premiums for Advantage plans are projected to go up 5% to $32.59 a month. However, if beneficiaries choose lower cost plans at the same rate as they did this year, the average would go up only 57 cents.
Among the 10 most popular drug plans, seven will have premiums rise by as much as 23%. On the bright side, United Healthcare is offering a low cost option averaging around $15 a month. The less expensive drug plans usually involve limited pharmacy networks that don’t let beneficiaries go to any drugstore they choose.
When choosing a new drug plan, seniors need to focus on premiums, copays and deductibles, as well as plan formularies, which tell them which drugs are covered. Beneficiaries should also watch out for restrictions such as prior approval, which requires that the insurer sign off on a medication before it’s covered. Another limit to pay attention to is only allowing beneficiaries to get a month’s supply of a drug at a time, so they get hit by the copayment each time.
Choosing the right Part D, prescription drug coverage is important for seniors because it can make a big difference in the amount they spend annually on drugs. The professionals at Brokers Assistance, Inc. have years of experience researching the best private companies with the benefits that are best suited to a seniors individual needs.