About 71% of all 2019 stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plans will have an initial deductible ranging from $15 to $415. (Remember, you usually pay 100% of your initial deductible before your Medicare Part D plan begins to provide coverage - but, see the exceptions below when a plan may exclude low-costing formulary Tiers from the deductible.)
As background, the standard or model CMS 2019 Medicare Part D plan
includes a $415 initial deductible (as compared to the standard $405 initial deductible in
2018 Medicare Part D plans) and many s
tand-alone 2019 Medicare Part D
prescription drug plans (PDPs) will follow this CMS standard Medicare Part D plan design - although, 2019 initial deductible can range from $15 to $415.
As a state-specific example, of the 26
stand-alone 2019 Medicare Part D plans available
, 18 plans will have an initial deductible ranging from $100 to $415, and eight (8) stand-alone Medicare Part D plans
will have a $0 initial deductible. You can see our PDP-Facts.com/2019
for Medicare Part D premium information in your state.
How many stand-alone 2019 Medicare Part D plans will have the $415 standard Initial Deductible?
of all 2019 stand-alone Medicare Part D plans (468 of the 901 PDPs) will have a $415
deductible (or more specifically, of all the 2019 PDPs having an initial
deductible (638 PDPs), 73%
will have the standard deductible of $415
comparison, approximately 48%
of all 2018 stand-alone Medicare Part D plans (403 of the 782 PDPs) had a $405
The $0 initial deductible Medicare Part D plan losing favor over time.
In fact, according to our calculations, only 29%
of all 2019 stand-alone
Medicare Part D plans will offer a $0 initial deductible (as compared to
37% of the 2018 Medicare Part D plans - and looking way back, compared
of 2007 PDPs that had a $0 deductible).**
Here is a chart showing the changes of Medicare Part D plan designs since 2007 with fewer
Medicare Part D plans now offering a $0 initial deductible.
** Please note that we are not considering Medicare Part D prescription drug plans (PDPs) in U.S. Territories or Puerto Rico.
2019 Medicare Part D plans with some Formulary Tiers excluded from the Initial Deductible
As was true in 2018, a number of stand-alone 2019 Medicare Part D plans having an initial
deductible should exclude some of their formulary tiers from the initial deductible and provide
immediate coverage for these drugs, even though the initial deductible is not met.
For example, your Medicare Part D plan may have a $415 initial deductible, but your Tier 1 and Tier 2 formulary drugs are excluded from the deductible, meaning you do not need to pay the $415 before getting coverage for these lower-costing drugs.
This is a definite bonus for people using mostly low-costing
generic medications and who usually did not meet their initial deductible until almost the
end of the plan year. Now these people will have "first dollar coverage" for their
low-costing medications, plus the usual Medicare Part D coverage protection should they need any expensive
brand or specialty medications costing well beyond the deductible.
For example, the 2018 Humana Walmart Rx Plan
has a $405 initial deductible with some of the generic formulary medications excluded
from the deductible.
How does this work? This means that, if you were still within your $405 initial deductible
and purchase a medication such as Atorvastatin Calcium (generic Lipitor®), you would
pay full retail price, but would instead be charged only a copayment
for this generic medication (when purchased at one of the Medicare Part D plan’s preferred
network pharmacy -- such as a Walmart pharmacy). And as always
if your Medicare Part D plan’s cost-sharing is more than your drug’s retail price,
then you pay the lesser retail price (you never pay more than your negotiated retail price).
Reminder: Your Medicare plan costs and coverage can (and probably will) change
If you are interested in changing your Medicare plan enrollment, the annual Open Enrollment Period
(or Annual Election Period) for Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Part D drug plans begins
on October 15 and continues through December 7, 2018.
Not sure where to begin?
If you or another Medicare beneficiary needs assistance understanding how your 2018 Medicare
plan is changing or to learn more about your 2019 Medicare plan coverage options,
please call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) and speak with a Medicare representative.