There are a number of changes affecting prescription drug Part D plans this year.
And that makes reviewing options during Medicare open enrollment — taking place now through Dec. 7 — even more important, experts say.
Allsup, a nationwide provider of Medicare plan selection services, pointed out the “significant changes” for prescription drug coverage in 2014:
- The Part D base beneficiary premium is $32.42 in 2014, which is close to a 4 percent increase from $31.17 in 2013;
- 212 new Part D plans will enter the market and 46 plans will leave the market;
- More insurers are featuring Part D plans with preferred pharmacy networks, where the plan provides cost discounts for using that specific pharmacy chain;
- New for 2014 is the small-supply drug option. Medicare Part D participants typically received coverage for a one-month supply of medication. Starting in 2014, though, individuals can ask for less than a one-month supply for most types of drugs. “This may seem like a small change, but it’s a valuable option for patients and their doctors who want to conduct a shorter trial on a medication, rather than having to purchase a month’s worth of medication,” Muschler explained.
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