Below are our detailed instructions to the Medicare Part D finder.
Two Crucial Tips
- Once you start entering drugs, copy down the Drug List ID and password date – you can use them to reload your Rx list at a later date.
- Before enrolling, click on your chosen plan’s name for details – it will allow you to see the cost variation of your two selected pharmacies and allow you to enroll by phone.
Step 1 of 4: Begin
Open the website medicare.gov (Link at bottom of these instructions)
Click the green box Find Health & Drug Plans (green button in the middle of the page)
On the next page, enter your ZIP code in the light blue box labelled “Basic Search” then click Find Plans.
Then you’ll be asked two questions. Most people answer as follows…
- Select Original Medicare, leave the sub-options unchecked.
- Select I don’t get any Extra Help
- Select Yes to “Would you like to add drugs”
Then click Continue to Plan Results
Step 2 of 4: Enter Your Drugs
Enter all the prescriptions you take (There’s an option to skip if none are taken.)
Name (generic if used – if generic not found used brand and Generic option will be offered)
When done, click My Drug List is Complete at the bottom.
IMPORTANT – pay attention the box on the right side of the screen “Retrieve My Saved Drug List“. After you enter your first drug, a “Drug List ID” number and “password” date will appear – write them down. Use them next time you revisit the site and the medications you’ve entered today will automatically be re-added. Very helpful!
Step 3 of 4: Select Your Pharmacies
Click Add Pharmacy and add 2 nearby pharmacy chains – costs can vary greatly between chains. When done click Continue to Plan Results.
Step 4 of 4: Refine Your Plan Results
Simply check off the plans you’d like to see. Normally just Prescription Drug Plans (with Original Medicare) and then click Continue to Plan Results
Your Plan Results
The first plan displayed is “Your Current Plan(s)” – Original Medicare – see, column #4 “Drug Coverage, Drug Restrictions” shows no coverage. This is the reason why Part D began in 2006.
To view the Part D Plans available, scroll past the Medicare listing down to “Prescription Drug Plans”.
Make sure to Sort Results by by “Lowest Estimated Annual/End of the Year Retail Drug Cost”
The first column is labelled Estimated Annual Drug costs – it is total for the balance of the year (premium and retail drug costs) and normally includes estimated costs for drugs not included in the plan’s formulary. (Whether all your drugs are on the formulary is indicated in column 4 “Drug Coverage”.) To verify that your excluded drug’s cost is included in the Estimated Annual Cost and for specific plan details including the phone number to apply, click on the plan’s name. This detailed plan view will, among other things, show you the cost of your drugs at your chosen pharmacies, and breakdown your month by month cost.
NOTE: Generic drugs costs can be so low that they do not exceed the deductible.
TIP: Don’t take any drugs? Consider the first plan with the smallest premium or one more expensive with a zero or small deductible. A few extra dollars per month may be worth saving yourself from the deductible if an unexpected drug need surfaces. We have clients with $5,000.+ per month prescriptions.
Many find deals for one or more drugs through prescription buyers clubs and online sources – prices better than are available via Part D. That’s fine, just remember that those purchases don’t apply toward your Part D out-of-pocket. Try using Goodrx.com
Once you’ve decided on a particular plan, you may enroll by phone or online. To enroll by phone, click on the plan’s name – this will load a detail page that lists the carrier’s numbers. To enroll online, simply click the “Enroll” button on the right to begin the enrollment process.
Applying for new coverage will terminate your old plan automatically and if your payments are deducted from your social security check (which we highly recommend), nothing more needs to be done. If using auto bank draft, one will have to be stop and another one started.