Unfortunately, Medicare Part A and Part B do not generally cover most prescriptions that many Americans have to take as they get older. While they help Americans afford medical care as they get older, these two parts of Medicare still do not help with one of the biggest healthcare costs for older Americans: prescription medications. This is where Part D comes in.
Medicare Part D plan covers prescription drugs. There are different prescription drug plans through the Medicare program, but all plans must cover certain drugs, like those for HIV or cancer. Part D plans have tiers that divide drugs into different categories.
Prescription costs in each tier are different. The drugs in the lowest tire cost less than the drugs in higher ones. The following is an example:
- Specialty tier – very expensive drugs with the highest copayment
- Tier 3 – costly brand-name drugs with higher copayment
- Tier 2 – brand-name drugs with medium copayment
- Tier 1 – generic drugs with the lowest copayment
You must use network pharmacies with any Medicare drug plan. However, some plans have programs that will mail you a three-month supply, which can be very beneficial if it is difficult for you to leave home.
Like health insurance plans, you will need to pay a premium, meet the annual deductible, and pay copayments.
Your monthly premium will depend on the plan you select as well as your earnings a couple of years before.
You will have to pay an additional monthly fee if you earned more than $88,000 on your second to last tax return.
Medicare caps Part D deductibles at $445, and your amount may be less. Likewise, you will pay less than 25 percent of your prescription costs once you and your insurance plan spend $4,130 together on prescription drugs.
What just one plan and less confusion? You might want Medicare Part C.