Time To Search for a Different Medicare Part D Plan
Posted on Monday, November 10th, 2008
Open enrollment for Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans is from November 15 through December 31.
Participants may change plans for 2009. Changes generally cannot be made again until the next open enrollment at the end of 2009.
Volunteer enroller Don Sessions, Falconhead, recommends that all participants go through a new plan search every year at this time.
The reason: “Certain insurance companies may be charging more for premiums and co-pays and dropping coverage of some drugs. Also, the drugs a person is taking may have changed during the year. Either way, without reviewing plans during open enrollment, people risk paying hundreds of dollars more than they should.”
Sessions, who is a volunteer enroller through the State Insurance Department’s senior health insurance counseling program, is available to assist any Love County participant at no charge.
He can be contacted through Mercy Health/Love County Hospital and Clinic, Marietta Pharmacy, Department of Human Services, Love County Health Department, Big 5 RSVP Seniors organization or by calling him at 276-2333.
All of these organizations have been assisting Love County seniors with Medicare Part D since the program started in 2006.
Sessions said the biggest changes for 2009 appear to be in the Humana Enhanced plan. The plan has raised premiums and co-pays significantly across the board while dropping coverage of the drugs Vytorin, Sular, Fosamax D, Spiriva Handihaler, Altace, and Fosamax.
Several other of the lowest annual cost plans in previous years probably will not be lowest in 2009, Sessions said. These include Humana Standard, Humana Complete, Medicare Blue RX (Basic, Basic Plus, and Enhanced); AARP Medicare Rx (Saver, Preferred, and Enhanced); Cigna Medicare Rx (Plan One, Plan Two, and Plan Three); United Health Rx (Basic and Value); and Sierra Rx.
Also, for those paying the full monthly premium, Sessions recommends reassessing Community CCRx (Basic, Choice, and Gold).
Sessions conducts plan searches through the Medicare website’s “Plan Finder” tool, matching a participant’s current prescription list against the covered drugs and costs associated with the 40 or so plans in Oklahoma.
“Most people save money be being in a plan, but the process for plan finding is way too complicated, and you need to re-do the enrollment analysis every year to stay ahead of the insurance companies,” he said.
He helped 96 participants during last year’s open enrollment.