For Part D open enrollment 2012 timeline is changed
Although technically known as the Part D Annual Enrollment Period, most people refer to the time when you can enroll in, switch or drop Part D plans as the Part D open enrollment period.
If Part D wasn’t confusing enough the change to the 2012 Part D open enrollment time frame is surely going to cause some grief.
The allowed time to add, change or drop a Medicare drug plan begins October 15th and continues through December 7th.
This article will point you toward some resources so you can compare 2012 Part D plans and make the best choice.
What Does Medicare Part D Cost?
The perils of changing Part D open enrollment
Unless you are new to Medicare, you are used to the enrollment period for Part D and Medicare Advantage beginning November 15th and continuing through December 31st.
After the open enrollment period ends for Part D plans on December 7th you can bet that some percent of the Medicare eligible population will have not gotten the word and will have missed enrollment.
If the percent is significant enough you can also bet that some congressman will make it his cause to earn points with Medicare eligible voters by holding hearings on the subject.
Don’t be one of the people who misses this new enrollment time frame for Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plans.
Get an early start on Part D open enrollment for 2012.Medicare plans will be made public on October 1st. You can visit plan provider websites or go to the Medicare website and search for available plans in your area.
The information on the Medicare website is more of a top level overview that relies on you to enter a list of all your medications and preferred pharmacies to filter a list of plans that they believe will meet your needs.
Visiting plan websites will allow you to research benefits and plan formularies more thoroughly. Often plan websites will list the most popular medications. You want to dig deeper and find the comprehensive Part D formulary for any plan that you are considering.
Here are the most important things to review:
Part D formulary – This is a list of all covered medications with information about each drugs tier placement.
Annual deductible – For 2012 plans deductibles can range from $0 to $320.
Copay and coinsurance amounts – Word to the wise… it’s a lot easier to calculate costs when plans have set copayment amounts.
The monthly premium – this should not be your primary concern. If your drugs are not covered the cheapest plan will be of little value.
Network of pharmacies – Are you required to use preferred pharmacies to get the best cost sharing amount?
The mail order option – Some plans will have far superior mail order benefits that others.
2012 Part D – What Are The Changes?
1. Start early and don’t miss the Part D open enrollment period for 2012.
2. Recognize that a plan’s formulary is the most important feature.
3. Be sure to factor all of Part D’s moving parts into your projected costs.
The key to success is to stay informed and roll with the changes. It’s no different when it comes to navigating 2012 Part D open enrollment.