You need to keep paying your monthly premiums when you are in the “Donut Hole” and you have a Medicare Part D, but you will have no insurance until you reach the catastrophic area that is linked to $5,100. Discuss your annual prescription costs with a pharmacist to find out what you would pay in retail if you had “Uninsured.” This is important because the basic Medicare Part D coverage is valid only up to $2,250 for most health insurance plans. After spending more than $2,250, enter the “Donut Hole” with most of our Medicare part D plans and this is where your coverage ends. Most basic plans are sufficient if your annual costs are close to $2,250. These insurance premiums are reasonable with the basic plans and range from a minimum of $12 or more to approximately $30 per month. If your annual expenses for prescription drugs exceed $2,250, you should consider a more expensive complementary plan.
Part D is the latest and most complex of the four parts of Medicare. People still ask what Medicare Part D is, and this implies that the government is not doing a good job educating the elderly in this very vital and important aspect of Medicare. Part D of Medicare insures prescription drugs which are usually filled by mail or at a local pharmacy. The typical drug plan for Part D consists of four layers commonly referred to as layer 1, layer 2, layer 3 and layer 4. Level 1 is for generic drugs, level 2 is for the preferred brand, level 3 is for the non-preferred brand and level 4 is for specialized drugs. Now we are also beginning to see a 5-level structure with some of the Part D plans of Medicare. The additional layer is used together with generics, thus creating a non-preferred generic and a preferred generic.
A large number of seniors will not reach the catastrophic area in Medicare Part D and will pay 100% when they exceed $2,250 if they choose the wrong plan. The policies you choose during the open enrollment period may be the most important decision you make for your retirement years. Talking with a qualified Medicare insurance agent will help you choose the right plan. You can take advantage of the correct Medicare Part D drug plan if you do your homework. You can save 60% or more with a Medicare drug plan, but it depends on how much you spend each year. Learn more about Medicare Part D plans for 2011 and 2012.