With prescription drug prices always rising, going without any insurance coverage can get very costly. If you are crrently on Medicare and a resident of Arizona, you may be able to save significantly on your medication costs by enrolling in a Medicare Part D plan. There are 23 plans to choose from, offered by 13 different companies under the guidance of the federal government. Signing up is done through the private company offering the plan you select; you can either visit them in person to fill out the forms, or fill out the paperwork online where available.
Even if you don’t think you need medication coverage right when you become eligible for Medicare, you may want to consider enrolling anyways. Waiting will likely to result in late fees, higher costs and premiums, and even health audits that will affect your coverage.
Medicare Part D vs. Medicare Advantage
Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage (also known as Medicare Part C) can both offer prescription drug coverage. So why choose one type of coverage over the other? Part D differs in that it deals exclusively with medication; it is supplemental coverage that is added on top of your Medicare Part A or B insurance. This can mean that it has better offerings for prescription coverage, such as a more expansive formulary. It may also be more cost effective. Medicare Advantage, which actually takes the place of Medicare Parts A and B, can include other services like dental as well as drug coverage — services you may not need or want to pay extra for.
Can you have both types of insurance? In most cases, you will need to choose between Part D and Advantage because the two cannot be used simultaneously. If you already have Medicare Advantage, signing up for Part D will automatically cancel the Advantage plan, reverting your coverage back to Original Medicare parts A and B. This could mean a loss of important services that your Advantage plan offered over and above Original Medicare. It is very important to speak with an insurance representative or your plan administrator before making changes to be sure that you do not lose essential coverage.
When to sign up
The best time to sign up for a Medicare Part D plan is during the Initial Enrollment Period. This is a seven-month period that is all based around the month you become eligible for Medicare (usually your 65th birthday). In addition to your birthday month, it includes the three months prior and the three months after. Enrolling at this time gives you the best price and the best coverage options, as you cannot be turned down.
If you miss the initial enrollment period, you can still sign up during the Annual Enrollment Period. This runs from October 15th through December 7th of every year. However, waiting for this enrollment period could result in late fees, higher premiums, and even healthcare audits that may affect cost and coverage. If you are already enrolled in a Part D plan, this annual period is also the time you can switch plans or discontinue coverage.
Sometimes, there are extenuating circumstances that prevent you from signing up at these particular times, such as losing your current insurance coverage due to job loss/change, moving, or another hardship. If this is the case, you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
What are my choices?
This table lists all of the Medicare Part D choices available in Arizona, detailing information such as the total monthly premium due as well as the drug deductible. Each of these plans is available in every county. However, different counties can also offer additional plans and services. Contact one of our representatives or your local Medicare office for additional details.
|Organization Name||Plan Name||Plan ID||Benefit Type||Part D Total Premium||Part D Drug Deductible||Gap Coverage|
|Aetna Medicare||Aetna Medicare Rx Saver (PDP)||62||Actuarially Equivalent Standard||$28.50||$360.00|
|Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arizona||Blue MedicareRx Value (PDP)||1||Actuarially Equivalent Standard||$26.10||$360.00|
|Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arizona||Blue MedicareRx Enhanced (PDP)||2||Enhanced Alternative||$109.70||$0.00|
|EnvisionRx Plus||EnvisionRxPlus Silver (PDP)||28||Actuarially Equivalent Standard||$29.30||$360.00|
|Express Scripts Medicare||Express Scripts Medicare – Value (PDP)||130||Actuarially Equivalent Standard||$33.20||$360.00|
|Express Scripts Medicare||Express Scripts Medicare – Choice (PDP)||198||Enhanced Alternative||$84.00||$360.00|
|First Health Part D||First Health Part D Value Plus (PDP)||151||Enhanced Alternative||$30.60||$0.00||Y|
|First Health Part D||First Health Part D Premier Plus (PDP)||183||Enhanced Alternative||$88.20||$0.00||Y|
|Humana Insurance Company||Humana Enhanced (PDP)||86||Enhanced Alternative||$65.70||$0.00||Y|
|Humana Insurance Company||Humana Preferred Rx Plan (PDP)||146||Actuarially Equivalent Standard||$31.30||$360.00|
|Humana Insurance Company||Humana Walmart Rx Plan (PDP)||174||Enhanced Alternative||$18.40||$360.00|
|Magellan Rx Medicare||Magellan Rx Medicare Basic (PDP)||23||Actuarially Equivalent Standard||$32.20||$360.00|
|SilverScript||SilverScript Choice (PDP)||56||Basic Alternative||$21.90||$0.00|
|SilverScript||SilverScript Plus (PDP)||57||Enhanced Alternative||$82.40||$0.00||Y|
|Stonebridge Life Insurance Company||Transamerica MedicareRx Classic (PDP)||27||Actuarially Equivalent Standard||$103.90||$360.00|
|Symphonix Health||Symphonix Value Rx (PDP)||44||Actuarially Equivalent Standard||$31.80||$360.00|
|Symphonix Health||Symphonix PrimeSaver Rx (PDP)||74||Enhanced Alternative||$40.40||$200.00|
|United American Insurance Company||United American – Enhanced (PDP)||31||Enhanced Alternative||$82.10||$220.00||Y|
|United American Insurance Company||United American – Select (PDP)||99||Actuarially Equivalent Standard||$40.70||$360.00|
|United American Insurance Company||United American – Essential (PDP)||131||Enhanced Alternative||$41.50||$230.00|
|UnitedHealthcare||AARP MedicareRx Preferred (PDP)||27||Enhanced Alternative||$51.30||$0.00|
|UnitedHealthcare||AARP MedicareRx Saver Plus (PDP)||380||Actuarially Equivalent Standard||$44.60||$360.00|
|WellCare||WellCare Classic (PDP)||165||Basic Alternative||$23.40||$360.00|
Plans are subject to change as contracts are finalized.
Includes contracts/plans as of April 22, 2016. The data does not reflect information for Employer sponsored plans, Part B only plans, or plans not offering a Part D drug benefit.