… In today’s episode we guide you on the best way to go about comparing medicare part d prescription drug plans for the years 2016 and 2017, and how to find the formularies and drug lists. We are based in North Carolina, but conduct business all over the country, so this information is applicable to your state as well.
Here is the conversation written out, for all of my visual learners out there 🙂
Wendy: So in today's episode we have Deborah, she has written in and she is asking “Tripp can you please tell me exactly what I need to know about prescription drug plans, the Part D.”. So just to kind of fill you guys in, we have done a few episodes on traditional original Medicare and that encompasses Parts A and Parts B. So once you kind of learn that and get familiar with that, now we are to the point where we have to talk about Part D and how that plays.
Tripp: Part D is for your medicines or your drug plan…that’s what it’s for.
Wendy: Okay so we basically are at the point in somebody's decision where they have to decide now that I have Parts A and B, am I going to go with a Medicare Advantage that typically includes a drug plan…?
Tripp: Most of the time, correct.
Wendy: …Or Medicare Supplement that normally doesn't, you have to go separately.
Tripp: Right. They call it a stand-alone PDP prescription drug plan. So you would have original Medicare, your Medicare supplement to fill in the gaps…
Wendy: Right, that twenty percent.
Tripp: Yes, and then you have a stand-alone prescription drug plan for all your medicines.
Wendy: And at first sound of that I think, well wouldn't that seem like a Medicare Advantage would always be the way to go, just a one stop shop where it includes the drug plan?
But you have to take a moment and look at all the parts as a whole and all the benefits.
Tripp: You would be surprised. Refer back to our video, maybe put a link or so. And look we did one on the differences of Medicare Supplements versus a Medicare Advantage.
Real quick suffice it to say, if my parents were living they would have a Supplement. End of discussion for the day. I know we are not talking about that but and I am just telling you they would have a Supplement.
Wendy: And so because of that, we need to talk about the Part B prescription drug plan. So if you do go the route of a Supplement, what do you do for your drug plan?
Tripp: Yes and kind of a caveat, or if you stay with original Medicare; I have got clients and I don't know why they just want to stay with original Medicare and then just do a drug plan and they are responsible for that twenty percent. I don't necessarily like it or agree with it, but it is their money.
So the prescription drug plans are run by private insurance carriers or private insurance companies that have been approved by Medicare to offer these drug plans to the Medicare market.
So the government is not selling the plans, it is individual carriers and that's the challenge. There are hundreds of companies offering these prescription drug plans and within the hundred companies there is three four or five plans within each company, so then you might have a thousand different prescription drug plans to choose from and it can be a daunting task to kind of go through them.
Wendy: Right and I know you have shared with me it is just something you choose not to get involved with because you like to be excellent at whatever you do and you just simply don’t have the time to learn about all the different caveats and…
Tripp: That’s exactly right. So I'm at expert in Medicare Supplements and Medicare Advantage plans, so for me to try to remember or study a thousand different drug plans is just not feasible.
It's kind of like that old saying “Jack of all trades master of none.” I don't want to be that guy so I’m here to help you on your Supplement more than anything.
But the drug plans again, we can lead you in the right direction which we're going to do on this video.
Wendy: Right. Okay so let's say somebody has Medicare Part A, do they need to get Part B in order to get Part D?
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