Medicare Part D Enrollment Period: How to Find the Best Medicare Part D Plans

Medicare Part D Enrollment PlansThe Medicare Part D open enrollment period is the final six weeks of each calendar year. This means the time you can start to choose a new Medicare prescription drug plan is on November 15th and the period will run through December 31st. Any changes you make during this time will go into affect on January 10th of the New Year.

Medicare recommends that you make changes to your plan as soon as possible during the Part D open enrollment cycle to prevent any confusion when the new plans take affect in January. You certainly do not want the pharmacy to have the wrong information when you need a prescription filled in January. Basically, the sooner you get your changes submitted, the less likelihood there will be that confusion will take place.

When it is time to choose a prescription drug plan, you will need to consider a number of factors to find the best Medicare Part D Plan to meet your needs.

The best way to begin your search is to go to the Medicare website (medicare.gov) and click on the “Compare Medicare Prescription Drug Plans” link which is under the “Search Tools” headline or choose the “Compare Drug Plans” link in the “Health and Drug Plans” box at the top of the page (see the graphic below for more details).

Medicare Part D Signup

After you click the link, you will be taken to a page that will allow you to either view your current plan (if applicable) or “Find and Compare Plans”. For this tutorial, we will click the “Find and Compare Plans” button.

Medicare Part D Plan Signup Form

The next page will allow you to to a “Personalized Plan Search” or a “General Plan Search”. Medicare recommends the personal plan search. This option requires you provide information from your Medicare card and have your current plan information (if applicable). This option will help find the best fit for your needs in your local area.

The general search option allows you to input your zip code, your age, health status and other general information about your insurance needs and it will help you find the right plan. This option does not require you to enter any personal information or your Medicare card data.Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Form

Once you submit your answers, a confirmation page will be returned showing you the answers you provided and it will give you some options based on your answers. After you have read over the page, you will click the “Continue” button in the lower right hand corner of the page.

The next page will give you two options. The first is to enter your prescription information. You will simply add all of your prescription drugs to the listing or pull the data from your current Medicare account. Providing your current prescriptions will help the system provide more accurate pricing and choices.

The second option on this page lets you go on to the plan choice page.

After you click to continue with either option, you will get a detailed listing back of the number of plan choices available to you, the average cost per plan, the ratings of each plan from other recipients and the individual plans listed in lowest price order. You can also choose to rearrange the results by average rating, annual deductible and other headers.

Medicare Part D Plans to Choose from

At this point, you can carefully review all of your Medicare Part D Plans to choose from. As stated earlier, for the best comparison you should enter your prescription drug information. You may not find a plan that covers all your prescriptions, but try to find one that covers the most expensive prescriptions. You may also want to see if they cover generic versions of any of the drugs you are on (if applicable).

You will also want to enter the information for the pharmacy that you prefer to work with.

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