It isn’t only employees who should shop around for better prices and benefits coverage before the end of the year. Elderly and disabled Medicare beneficiaries who evaluate different prescription drug plan providers also stand to get better coverage for lower prices, or at least a lower increase in the prices they pay.
The Associated Press reported that among the top 10 drug plans (based on enrollment), the average monthly premium in 2009 will increase anywhere from 8 percent to 64 percent. Cost increases are cited to be due to higher demand, increased drug costs, and the fact that plan providers who previously undercharged will be adjusting prices accordingly. Even with rising costs, the most popular plans were reported to be cutting the number of covered prescriptions by about 9%.
It’s easy to choose a plan and stick with it, but the effort to find a more appropriate provider may be worth the effort. The prescription drugs that you are taking as well as those covered by plans may change on at least a yearly basis. Sticking with a plan because it covers a medication you used when you originally chose a plan may no longer make sense.
Manual spending decisions are often made with more consideration than automated ones. Assuming that the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan you used last year will continue to be the best option for your money (and your health) is a risky proposition. As with all benefits, a careful review during the selection period will allow you to make the best choice. Changes to your Medicare Prescription Drug Plan provider for 2009 can be made through December 31, 2008.
Have you reviewed your coverage this year?Print This Post