Most Medicare prescription drug plans require you to pay a Part D yearly deductible before it will share the cost of your medications. The deductible to your prescription drug plan is often overlooked when comparing out-of-pocket expenses. The standard Part D deductible for 2018 is $405 and may change every year.
• Deductible: If your plan has a deductible, you pay full price for your drugs until the deductible amount is met and coverage kicks in. “Full price” means the price your plan has negotiated with each drug’s manufacturer. This price may be less that you would pay retail at the pharmacy.
• Initial coverage period: Your share of each prescription is either a flat copayment (for example, $10) or a percentage of the drug’s cost (for example, 35 percent). Most plans have three to five levels (known as “tiers”) of copays, rising in price from the least expensive generic drugs through “preferred” brand-name drugs to “nonpreferred” brands and finally to specialty or high-cost drugs.
There are many different drug plans. The drug plan that is perfect for your neighbor or spouse may not be the right one for you. Meeting with a broker is the only way to know you are getting the best plan to meet your needs.
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