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Here are tips to find the best Medicare Drug Plan California. According to the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance (AAMSI), Californians can choose from nearly 60 Medicare plans with Part D drug coverage (2023). This includes 24 Medicare stand-alone drug plans and 35 Medicare Advantage drug plans.
Finding the best plan can take a bit of comparison shopping. The effort can be worthwhile. Consider that the average senior takes 4.5 prescription drugs. This number increases with age, with seniors aged 65-69 taking an average of 4.9 prescription drugs. Those aged 80-84 take an average of 5.6 prescription drugs.
Here are a few tips to find the best Medicare drug plan available to California seniors:
Look for a tool that does not require you to enter any personal information in order to see plan information. This will avoid you getting hundreds of unwanted emails and calls.
Access this free California Medicare drug plan comparison tool. Click the highlighted link.
No personal information is needed to see the available plans and pricing. For a Los Angeles County Zip Code, the tool showed 18 different plans. The lowest cost plan was $8.30 per-month. The highest plan costs $71.30 monthly.
The following are leading companies offering stand-alone Part D Medicare drug plans in California.
Many of the companies offer several plans.
When searching for the best Medicare drug plan coverage, there are several tips shared by the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance.
Firstly, it is important to understand the different types of Medicare drug plans available. These include standalone Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs) and Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MAPD) plans. PDPs work alongside Original Medicare, while MAPD plans are all-in-one plans that include both medical and prescription drug coverage.
Secondly, it is important to consider your specific medication needs. Different plans cover different medications, so it is important to ensure that the plan you choose covers the medications you need at a reasonable cost.
Thirdly, it is important to compare costs between different plans. This includes not only monthly premiums but also deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance.
Fourthly, it is important to consider the plan’s network of pharmacies. Some plans may have preferred pharmacies where you can receive lower costs for your medications.
Lastly, it is important to review the plan’s star rating. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) rates Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans on a scale of 1 to 5 stars based on factors such as customer service and member experience.
Medicare drug plan rules can change from year to year, and it’s important for beneficiaries to stay informed about these changes.
One recent change to Medicare drug plan rules is the closure of the “donut hole” coverage gap. The donut hole was a gap in coverage where beneficiaries had to pay a larger share of their drug costs until they reached catastrophic coverage. However, as of 2019, the donut hole has been closed, meaning that beneficiaries will pay no more than 25% of the cost of their drugs until they reach catastrophic coverage.
Another recent change to Medicare drug plan rules is the ability for beneficiaries to switch plans at any time during the year if they have a five-star plan available in their area. This change was made to encourage beneficiaries to enroll in high-quality plans and to make it easier for them to switch plans if they are not satisfied with their current coverage.
Additionally, Medicare drug plan rules now require Part D plans to provide real-time access to drug pricing information at the point of sale. This means that beneficiaries can see how much they will pay for a particular drug before they purchase it, which can help them make more informed decisions about their healthcare.
Overall, changes to Medicare drug plan rules can have a significant impact on beneficiaries’ access to affordable medications and healthcare services. It’s important for beneficiaries to stay informed about these changes and to work with their healthcare providers and insurance companies to ensure that they are getting the best possible care.
You can change your Medicare drug plan during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), which runs from October 15 to December 7 each year. During this time, you can switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan or switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another. You can also switch from one Medicare Part D prescription drug plan to another.
Other times when you can change your Medicare drug plan:
In certain situations, you may be eligible for a SEP that allows you to change your Medicare drug plan outside of the AEP. For example, if you move into a nursing home or lose creditable prescription drug coverage, you may be eligible for a SEP.
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Find the best Medicare insurance plan information from the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance.