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How to compare annual Medicare drug plan changes with the Q1Medicare Medicare Part D PDP-Compare tool


Our Q1Medicare PDP-Compare and MA-Compare tools allow you to compare annual Medicare changes in all stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plans (PDPs) or Medicare Advantage plans (MAs or MAPDs) across the country - showing changes in monthly premiums and plan design changes, as well as changes in co-payments or co-insurance rates for different drug tiers along with the most recent Medicare quality star ratings.

Medicare Part D plans can (and usually do) change every year and you should be aware that your current Medicare Part D plan may have the same name next year, but the plan can have changed many coverage features.

Usually any yearly changes to your existing Medicare Pare D drug plan coverage are explained in your Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) letter that you should receive from your current Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plan sometime in early-October.

Unfortunately, the Annual Notice of Change letter can be pretty difficult for some people to read (or just easy to ignore) and that is why we launched our PDP-Compare tool so we can stress the importance of knowing your annual plan changes.

How can your Medicare change in a year?
  • Your Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plan may not be offered next year.
  • You may be automatically moved or "crosswalked" to another Medicare plan.
  • Your Medicare plan's name may change.
  • Your monthly premiums may increase.
  • Your plan's Initial Deductible may change.
  • Your plan will provably change the Initial Coverage Limit (when you go into the Donut Hole).
  • Your plan may offer supplemental Donut Hole or Coverage Gap Coverage.
  • Your Medicare drug plan's Formulary or Drug List will probably change.
  • Your drug cost sharing amounts (what you pay for co-payments or co-insurance) may change.
  • Usage Management restrictions may be added to your drugs (whether your drug requires prior authorization or step-therapy or quantify limits)
  • ... and more
Our Q1Medicare PDP-Compare tool provides a side-by-side comparison of basic plan costs and design changes between all individual Medicare Part D plans as we move from one year to the next.

As an example, below shows how a Medicare Part D plan in Ohio will change the plan name, increase monthly premiums, increase the deductible, and change drug cost-sharing for the next plan year.  So people enrolled in the 2020 Ohio EnvisionRxPlus plan who take no action during the annual Open Enrollment Period (October 15 through December 7) will find themselves enrolled in the 2021 Elixer RxSecure plan on January 1st.

PDP-Compare showing an example of how Medicare Part D plans can change names year to year
As another example, the following graphic shows another example of a Medicare Part D plan with annual changes in premiums, deductible, formulary cost sharing  that affects millions of people.  On the positive side, the new 2020 plan will have a larger formulary as compared to the previous year's 2019 drug list.

PDP-Compare showing an example of how Medicare Part D plans can change names year to year
You can click on the plan names for the plan's coverage details and you can click on the "formulary" text to browse the plan's formulary or drug list using our Formulary Browser.

All Medicare Part D prescription drug plans in all states (and US territories) are represented with the PDP-Compare tool and here is an example link to how all stand-alone Medicare Part D plans will change from one year to the next within the state of New Jersey:  https://PDPCompare.com/NJ.

PDP-Compare for stand-alone Part D drug plans and MA-Compare.com/15238 for Medicare Advantage plans.

Like our PDP-Compare tool, you can find similar information for annual changes to Medicare Advantage plans using the Q1Medicare MA-Compare or Medicare Advantage plan annual comparison tool.

As an example, using Zip Code 90001 (Los Angeles, California), you can see that there were 195 different 2020/2021 Medicare Advantage plans changes year-to-year.  That is, Medicare Advantage plans in this county are changing healthcare and drug coverage, changing plan names, leaving the Service Area, or entering the Service Area.

Like Medicare Part D plans, each year, Medicare Advantage plans can be changing:
  • Plan availability - Your Medicare Advantage plan may not be offered next year.
  • New Medicare Advantage plan options may be available to you next year.
  • Plan mergers and consolidations - You may be automatically moved or "crosswalked" to another Medicare plan.
  • Your Medicare plan's name may change.
  • Your monthly premiums may increase.
  • Your plan's maximum out-of-pocket limit or MOOP may change.
  • Your Medicare drug plan's Formulary or Drug Lists may change.
  • Your drug cost sharing amounts (what you pay for co-payments or co-insurance) may change.
  • ... and more
As another example, this screen shows the entry of a new 2021 Medicare Advantage plan being introduced in a Pennsylvania county (the 2021 Lasso Healthcare Growth (MSA)).  On the same screen, you can see how a Medicare Advantage plan is changing the Medicare Part A and Part B maximum out-of-pocket spending limit or MOOP (in this example, from $6,700 to $7,550).

Q1Medicare Medicare Advantage Compare showing annual plan changes

We make every effort to show changes in all Medicare Advantage plans (with and without drug coverage, Special Needs Plans, and MSAs) in all states and US territories.https://MA-Compare.com/15238





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Tips & Disclaimers
  • The Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug plan data on our site comes directly from Medicare and is subject to change.
  • Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed the information on our site.
  • We provide our Q1Medicare.com site for educational purposes and strive to present unbiased and accurate information. However, Q1Medicare is not intended as a substitute for your lawyer, doctor, healthcare provider, financial advisor, or pharmacist. For more information on your Medicare coverage, please be sure to seek legal, medical, pharmaceutical, or financial advice from a licensed professional or telephone Medicare at 1-800-633-4227.
  • We are an independent education, research, and technology company. We are not affiliated with any Medicare plan, plan carrier, healthcare provider, or insurance company. We are not compensated for Medicare plan enrollments. We do not sell leads or share your personal information.
  • Benefits, formulary, pharmacy network, provider network, premium and/or co-payments/co-insurance may change on January 1 of each year. Our PDP-Compare.com and MA-Compare.com provide highlights of annual plan benefit changes.
  • The benefit information provided is a brief summary, not a complete description of benefits. For more information contact the plan.
  • Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply.
  • We make every effort to show all available Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plans in your service area. However, since our data is provided by Medicare, it is possible that this may not be a complete listing of plans available in your service area. For a complete listing please contact 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048), 24 hours a day/7 days a week or consult www.medicare.gov.
  • When enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan, you must continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium.
  • Medicare beneficiaries with higher incomes may be required to pay both a Medicare Part B and Medicare Part D Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA). Read more on IRMAA.
  • Medicare Advantage plans that include prescription drug coverage (MAPDs) are considered Medicare Part D plans and members with higher incomes may be subject to the Medicare Part D Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA), just as members in stand-alone Part D plans. In certain situations, you can appeal IRMAA.
  • You must be enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan. Members may enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan only during specific times of the year. Contact the Medicare plan for more information.
  • If you are enrolled in a Medicare plan with Part D prescription drug coverage, you may be eligible for financial Extra Help to assist with the payment of your prescription drug premiums and drug purchases. To see if you qualify for Extra Help, call: 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048, 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week or consult www.medicare.gov; the Social Security Office at 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. TTY users should call, 1-800-325-0778; or your state Medicaid Office.
  • Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-Star rating system. Star Ratings are calculated each year and may change from one year to the next.
  • A Medicare Advantage Private Fee-for-Service plan (PFFS) is not a Medicare supplement plan. Providers who do not contract with the plan are not required to see you except in an emergency.
  • Disclaimer for Institutional Special Needs Plan (SNP): This plan is available to anyone with Medicare who meets the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) level of care and resides in a nursing home.
  • Disclaimer for Dual Eligible (Medicare/Medicaid) Special Needs Plan (SNP): This plan is available to anyone who has both Medical Assistance from the State and Medicare. Premiums, co-pays, co-insurance, and deductibles may vary based on the level of Extra Help you receive. Please contact the plan for further details.
  • Disclaimer for Chronic Condition Special Needs Plan (SNP): This plan is available to anyone with Medicare who has been diagnosed with the plan specific Chronic Condition.
  • Medicare MSA Plans combine a high deductible Medicare Advantage Plan and a trust or custodial savings account (as defined and/or approved by the IRS). The plan deposits money from Medicare into the account. You can use this money to pay for your health care costs, but only Medicare-covered expenses count toward your deductible. The amount deposited is usually less than your deductible amount, so you generally have to pay out-of-pocket before your coverage begins.
  • Medicare MSA Plans do not cover prescription drugs. If you join a Medicare MSA Plan, you can also join any separate (stand-alone) Medicare Part D prescription drug plan
  • There are additional restrictions to join an MSA plan, and enrollment is generally for a full calendar year unless you meet certain exceptions. Those who disenroll during the calendar year will owe a portion of the account deposit back to the plan. Contact the plan provider for additional information.
  • Medicare beneficiaries may enroll through the CMS Medicare Online Enrollment Center located at www.medicare.gov.
  • Medicare beneficiaries can file a complaint with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services by calling 1-800-MEDICARE 24 hours a day/7 days or using the medicare.gov site. Beneficiaries can appoint a representative by submitting CMS Form-1696.