Each Medicare drug plan is different. When you choose a Medicare drug plan for the first time, or switch to a different Medicare drug plan, you should compare the plans in your area and choose one that meets your cost and coverage needs.
Get personalized help comparing Medicare prescription drug coverage:
Visit www.medicare.gov on the web. Select "Compare Medicare Prescription Drug Plans."
Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.
Have your Medicare card, a list of your drugs and their dosage, and the name of the pharmacy you use available.
Look at the following to compare plans in your area.
Drug Coverage. Plans may have rules about what drugs are covered in different categories. Check to see if the plan covers your prescription drugs. Medicare drug plans will have a list of drugs covered by the plan (Formulary ) that must always meet Medicare's requirements. Even if a drug is on the plan's list, there may be special rules for filling the prescription. But, the list can change during the year because drug therapies change, and new drugs and medical knowledge become available. If you are affected by the change, your plan will notify you at least 60 days before the formulary changes. If there is a formulary change that affects a drug you take, in most cases, it will still be covered for you until the end of the year.
Cost. Check to see how much your prescription drugs would cost in each plan. If you currently have prescription drug coverage, compare your current costs to those of the Medicare drug plans you are considering. Monthly Premiums, Deductibles, and your share of the cost of your prescriptions (Copayments and/or Coinsurance ) will vary with each plan and by each drug. If you have limited income or resources, you may qualify for "extra help" paying your drug plan costs (see Extra help paying for Medicare prescription drug coverage).
Convenience. Medicare drug plans must contract with pharmacies in your area. Check with the plan to make sure the pharmacies in the plan are the ones you want to use. Some plans also allow you to get your prescriptions through the mail. If you spend part of the year in another state, see if the plan will cover you there.
(Primary Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services - Medicare and You Handbook. This content may have been enhanced by Q1Group LLC to include further examples, explanations, and links.)
Medicare Supplements fill the gaps in your Original Medicare