October 2019 MediGap Advisors Health & Wealth Newsletter  Vol. 15, Issue 10

All the Buzz about Part D Prescription
Drug Plans

What you need to know about Medicare’s upcoming Annual Enrollment Period

If you have been hearing more chatter about Part D lately, it is probably because we are in the only time of year when it is possible to sign up for or switch a Part D prescription plan. Medicare’s Annual Enrollment (AEP) Period begins on October 15th and ends on December 7th of each year, so time is already running out if you are thinking of changing things up.

However, it is important to note that not every Medicare customer needs to do anything for the AEP. If you are happy with your current coverage or already have Part D, then kick back and relax.

For everyone else, you might want to keep reading.

Medicaid Part D Prescription Plans: A Brief Overview

Also called the Medicare prescription drug benefit, Part D is an optional program that can help Medicare enrollees pay for their prescription drugs with their insurance plan. It works just like insurance for healthcare, except that it is exclusively for prescription medications.

You can enroll in Part D coverage either during the Initial Enrollment Period leading up to your 65th birthday OR during the Annual Enrollment Period. While some exceptions exist for special circumstances (like moving, for instance) most people will be unable to either enroll in or change their Part D coverage any other time of the year.

This is a busy time of year for insurance professionals, which is why it is a good idea to get on the same page with your Personal Benefits Manager before AEP officially begins and they get completely booked up.

Reasons for Adding Part D or Changing Plans

If you already have a Medicare Advantage Plan, then you likely already have a Part D plan included in your coverage (an MAPD plan). Or, if you have a Medicare Supplement Plan, then perhaps you have already secured additional coverage through Part D. Either way, it is important to keep a close eye on how well your Part D plan is working for you.

Here are just a few of the reasons that you might want to take advantage of AEP to review your Part D coverage:

  • Your rates are going up
  • If your medications have changed significantly
  • If you think a different plan might better suit your needs
  • You are not yet enrolled in Part D and you would like to be

REMEMBER: Not everyone needs to review their Part D coverage every single year. If you are happy with your coverage or if you are not interested in Part D, then you don’t need to lift a finger.

How Much does Part D Cost?

Here’s the thing about Part D that not everyone is thrilled to talk about: the list of medicines that are covered under Part D (the “formularies”) changes from year to year. This means that it is possible that your Part D plan can actually fluctuate in cost, especially if your medication needs are changing.

While the national base premium for Part D in 2019 is $33.19, the actual costs will vary based on your location. Some of the more expensive plans can actually be significantly more than that, and it is important to remember that the costs will rarely stay the same.

Re-evaluating your Part D coverage means keeping a close eye on what it is costing you and whether or not another plan might be more beneficial in the long run. This is what your PBM is for. If you feel like you’d like to re-evaluate, or if you simply want to review your Medicare supplement plan, then don’t hesitate to call.

Part D Rates Become Available October 1st

If you are interested in reviewing your Part D options this year, schedule an appointment with your PBM between now and October 14th. To do so just click the calendar link in their signature block, and pick a time.

Also, you know someone who might be able to benefit from enrolling in a Part D plan, have them give us a call. They might end up thanking you for helping them maximize their Medicare benefits.


To your health and wealth,

Wiley P. Long, III
President – MediGap Advisors





The MediGap Advisors Health and Wealth Report is published monthly and emailed to subscribers at no charge. Subscribe now to stay on top of the critical information you need to know about Medicare, Medicare supplement plans, and managing your finances during your retirement.