Published on October 10, 2016

Medicare Part D Enrollment Starts Oct 15

PELLA, Iowa – Do you need to join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan? Pella Regional’s Pharmacy on the Square is now accepting most Medicare Part D Plans. Medicare offers prescription drug coverage to everyone with Medicare. To get Medicare drug coverage, you must join a plan run by an insurance company or other private company approved by Medicare. Each plan can vary in cost and drugs covered.

Open enrollment for Medicare Part D coverage is from October 15 – December 7. You don’t need to sign up each year. However, each year you’ll have a chance to review your coverage and change plans.

The first step is to think about what type of drug coverage best meets your needs and then look carefully at all the choices before you make a decision. You need to consider:

  • Premiums, deductibles and co-payments, which vary widely from plan to plan.
  • The list of drugs each plan covers, which is called a formulary.
  • Where your medications fall on the plan's drug list. Each plan organizes drug types into tiers and some require higher co-pays than others. 
  • What pharmacies you will be allowed to use, including Pella Regional’s Pharmacy on the Square.

Drugs are grouped into different tiers by each carrier and plan. The tiers may be based on whether a drug is generic or branded and other factors. Pella Regional’s pharmacists can work with you to see if there are drug alternatives that will lower your co-pay.

Most Medicare Part D plans will charge the same co-pay, as long as you go to a network pharmacy. Each network will have several options, so you can go to a pharmacy that offers the services and convenience that best meet your health care needs.

Finding the best Medicare Part D plan for your health care needs can seem overwhelming. There are a number of resources available to help you compare plans and make your decision. The website https://www.medicare.gov allows you to compare various part D plans based on factors that are important to you. There are also Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) representatives that are available to help walk you through the process of choosing a plan. Pella Regional’s pharmacists can be another valuable resource to answer questions you may have about Medicare Part D plans.