Make the most of Medicare’s drug coverage

medicineMedicare offers prescription drug coverage to everyone with Medicare.

It’s a good deal. Medicare subsidizes the outpatient drug benefit, generally paying about 75 percent of the program’s costs. Unless you already have comparable drug coverage through another source, you should consider getting it when you sign up for Medicare’s health care coverage at 65.

There are two ways to get drug coverage. If you’re in Medicare’s traditional fee-for-service program, you can purchase a “stand-alone” drug plan from an insurance company. Or, if you decide to buy a private Medicare Advantage health plan, you can choose one that includes drug coverage.

To find the “stand-alone” drug plans and the Medicare Advantage health plans with drug coverage available in your area, visit Medicare’s “plan finder” at medicare.gov/find-a-plan. You can also call Texas’ Health Information Counseling and Advocacy Program for help at (800) 252-9240.

You’ll see there are significant differences in premiums and deductibles, in the co-payments the plans charge, in the particular drugs they cover and in the pharmacies they use. That’s why it’s important to look at your prescriptions and individual circumstances when comparing plans.

Ask yourself: Which plans cover the drugs I take? Which plan gives me the best overall price on all my drugs? Which plans allow me to use the pharmacy I want? Which plans let me get drugs through the mail? What are the plans’ quality ratings, such as for customer service?

Read full story at Lufkin Daily News

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