From October 15 to December 7 each year, Medicare enrollees have the option to change their insurance plans. For prescription drug coverage, which is only offered by private insurance companies, it pays to shop around. Even if you have been happy with your current plan, drug prices and premiums change from one year to the next. It's a good idea to compare. There could be hundreds of dollars at stake.
The federal government makes Medicare prescription plan rules, so some things are the same no matter the company. For instance, the point at which the initial coverage stops and the coverage gap begins—sometimes called the "donut hole"—is up to $4430 in 2022. But how soon you get to that number depends on drug pricing, which varies from one insurance company to the next.
Here are some factors to consider:
Get help comparing plans. Go to Medicare.gov for an online comparison tool. Or use free telephone assistance at 1-800-MEDICARE. There, you can get help weighing the costs and benefits so you can select the best coverage for your money.
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Leslie Alin Tewes is a Geriatric, Disability & Medical Care Manager; Elder and Adult Care Advocate; Quality Improvement Specialist.