Each year, Medicare beneficiaries have a chance to make changes to their Medicare prescription drug coverage for the following year. Below we discuss why Medicare beneficiaries should compare their available options, how to do so, and how to enroll in the plan that best meets their prescription needs.

Why change your Medicare prescription drug coverage?

Once a year, private insurance companies that administer Medicare Part D prescription drug plans may make changes to components of the plan, such as premiums and deductibles, offer new plans or discontinue plans. As a result, you should review your options each year to find the most beneficial coverage to fit your individual needs.

The best way to compare the available prescription drug plans is to visit the Medicare website (www.medicare.gov), click the “Drug Coverage (Part D)” blue box at the top of the page and then click the “Find health & drug plans” link in the left column. You can also go directly to the Medicare Plan Finder at https://www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan/questions/home.aspx.

Enter your ZIP code and click the “Find Plans” button, or use the Personalized Search feature on the same page. You will be prompted to answer two questions about your current coverage and then to enter the medications you are taking and the pharmacy you are using. The Medicare Plan Finder will then rank the available Medicare Part D prescription drug plans by cost, taking into account the plan’s monthly premium, deductible, co-insurance, etc.

Open enrollment began Oct. 15, and there is an “Enroll” button next to each plan that takes you to the application.

Once you decide on a new plan, you can enroll in one of four ways.

  • Enroll through the Medicare Plan Finder at medicare.gov or on the plan’s website.
  • Complete a paper enrollment form.
  • Call the plan.
  • Call 1 (800) MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227)

To review a list of Frequently Asked Questions about Medicare Part D, please visit https://www.drugs.com/medicare-part-d/faqs.html.