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Part D - Is cheapest the best?
Old 11-18-2019, 09:04 AM   #1
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Part D - Is cheapest the best?

First time to pick Part D for the full year. If all my drugs are all covered should I just pick the cheapest? My concern is it is a new to Part D (Mutual of Omaha) with no track record. It may be a simple cheaper is better, but are there any concerns I should have going cheap?
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Old 11-18-2019, 09:12 AM   #2
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That is what I do, all my drugs, BP and Chol. are Free Here in Florida at Publix and Winn Dixie. Only $4 at Walmart.
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Old 11-18-2019, 09:19 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Easypick View Post
First time to pick Part D for the full year. If all my drugs are all covered should I just pick the cheapest? My concern is it is a new to Part D (Mutual of Omaha) with no track record. It may be a simple cheaper is better, but are there any concerns I should have going cheap?
Wouldn't concern me in your situation. I'd pick the cheapest (and have for years), adjusting annually if needed.
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Old 11-18-2019, 10:57 AM   #4
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I had the cheapest Part D I could find for several years. It worked well for me for most of that time. The premium money I saved was far greater than the extra drug costs I paid for here and there.

However, today, I must take a certain drug that is Tier 4 in my current plan, and Tier 4 drugs require a healthy co-payment from me. So, I am switching to a plan that has the exact same drug in Tier 2 where my co-payment is only $15 for a three month supply. The new plan will cost me about $20 a month more in premiums but save me about $125 every three months. Do the math.
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Old 11-18-2019, 11:57 AM   #5
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Took a while to realize, but after a pharmacy comparison of all our meds, have gone to GoodRX.

Prices on our old plan, skyrocketed, with no formulary to give prices. The formulary used to give us the prices , but they change monthly. (Have to call every month to check).

Unless we need one of those $4000/mo. drugs, we'll save about $1500/yr. Then?... who knows?
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Old 11-25-2019, 02:34 PM   #6
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Decided to bump this thread rather do a poll.
I am in process of picking our Plan D and have in the past pretty much followed the "pick the cheapest" approach. Currently with SilverScripts at $32/mon
We are fortunate in that we use few drugs so cheapest again looks like the way to go. However, when checking the references for our least expensive options EnvisionRXPlus (14.20/mon and WellcareMedicare RX(20.10/month) both Medicare rated 3 stars, the negative reviews are rampant for both regarding offshore Customer Service and performance for delivering the coverage. I also notice that both have significant higher copays/prescription at all tiers so your monthly "savings" are quickly vaporized if you are using any prescriptions.
Silverscripts gets better ratings but is owned by CVS and recent comments suggest their performance may be suspect in the future.
Do the Board members have any experience with Envison or Wellcare?
Thanks
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Old 11-25-2019, 02:39 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by nwsteve View Post
Decided to bump this thread rather do a poll.
I am in process of picking our Plan D and have in the past pretty much followed the "pick the cheapest" approach. Currently with SilverScripts at $32/mon
We are fortunate in that we use few drugs so cheapest again looks like the way to go. However, when checking the references for our least expensive options EnvisionRXPlus (14.20/mon and WellcareMedicare RX(20.10/month) both Medicare rated 3 stars, the negative reviews are rampant for both regarding offshore Customer Service and performance for delivering the coverage. I also notice that both have significant higher copays/prescription at all tiers so your monthly "savings" are quickly vaporized if you are using any prescriptions.
Silverscripts gets better ratings but is owned by CVS and recent comments suggest their performance may be suspect in the future.
Do the Board members have any experience with Envison or Wellcare?
Thanks
We use WellCare, our plans are $14 per month each. I'm not impressed with the WellCare online functionality. Setting up autopay was a PITA. Good news is you can change again in a year if it doesn't work out as you expect.
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Old 11-25-2019, 03:49 PM   #8
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Part D is very complicated, and it varies per zip code. My wife is a heavy med user, but most of her medicines are generic and Part D hardly covers much $ on them. But she's been taking one $1,200 per month medicine that would break the camel's back--and put her into the donut hole fast.

We went with Silver Script's most expensive plan on her. I took a lesser cost plan since most of mine are covered by Part B--insulin and supplies on the pump.

Go to Medicare.gov and feed in a list of all meds, your zip and it's going to tell you which company and plan is the cheapest for you.
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Part D - Is cheapest the best?
Old 11-25-2019, 04:35 PM   #9
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Part D - Is cheapest the best?

I had no significant problems with Envision service.
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Old 11-25-2019, 04:40 PM   #10
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OP.....by cheapest do you mean premiums? The medicare.gov website can give you the cost of premiums + Rx so if you know what you are taking, let the website do the calculation for you.......you can doublecheck with the winner's website .
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Old 11-25-2019, 05:42 PM   #11
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I was fooling with this today too. The other issue is the pharmacy. You have to distinguish between standard in network pharmacies and preferred in network pharmacies. I think for the one generic drug I take that is Tier 1, I will go with the second cheapest WellCare plan that has CVS as a preferred in network pharmacy and the lowest overall cost, including the drug co-pay. The cheapest plan has Safeway as a preferred pharmacy, not CVS. To get both as preferred pharmacies, you pay another $7.00 a month.
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Old 11-25-2019, 06:36 PM   #12
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I was fooling with this today too. The other issue is the pharmacy. You have to distinguish between standard in network pharmacies and preferred in network pharmacies. I think for the one generic drug I take that is Tier 1, I will go with the second cheapest WellCare plan that has CVS as a preferred in network pharmacy and the lowest overall cost, including the drug co-pay. The cheapest plan has Safeway as a preferred pharmacy, not CVS. To get both as preferred pharmacies, you pay another $7.00 a month.
And CVS Pharmacies are everywhere in this country and Puerto Rico. Availability of medicine records is important, especially for those that travel.
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Old 11-27-2019, 04:59 PM   #13
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OP.....by cheapest do you mean premiums? The medicare.gov website can give you the cost of premiums + Rx so if you know what you are taking, let the website do the calculation for you.......you can doublecheck with the winner's website .
+1. The Medicare.gov site, works amazingly well, for part D inquires.
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Old 11-27-2019, 11:25 PM   #14
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OP.....by cheapest do you mean premiums? The medicare.gov website can give you the cost of premiums + Rx so if you know what you are taking, let the website do the calculation for you.......you can doublecheck with the winner's website .
Yes, very important, and on the right hand side under your current plan (if you have one) is a selection box to be able to order the plans by monthly premium + prescription costs.

Weirdly, when I was doing it today, I saw for a fellow the cost for many plans was around $2K, but AARP plan was around $7K (why do they sell their soul for $$)?
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Old 11-27-2019, 11:33 PM   #15
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I've used Envision for 2 years and have been happy with it.
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Old 11-28-2019, 06:39 AM   #16
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The medicare.gov website can give you the cost of premiums + Rx so if you know what you are taking, let the website do the calculation for you....you can doublecheck with the winner's website .
+1 on doublechecking at the insurer's website, especially if Tier 3,4, or 5 drugs have been entered. The new version of the Medicare plan finder is still experiencing issues.
Quote:
The Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging is advising individuals who already have signed up for a Medicare plan to verify the plan's pricing information and other details with the insurer.

EnvisionRxPlus, a prescription drug plan, in an email sent last month to independent insurance brokers wrote that the tool did not provide accurate information for plans with deductibles that only apply to drugs on specific formulary tiers or for mail-order pharmacies, Inside Health Policy reports.

Medicare advisers and consumer advocates have expressed concerns that the full effect of the tool's inaccurate estimates might remain unclear until the 2020 coverage year begins and beneficiaries start to use their coverage.

Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), the ranking member on the Senate Aging Committee, said he will ask CMS to offer beneficiaries who have experienced issues with the tool a second opportunity to sign up for coverage through a special open enrollment period.

As of Nov. 22, CMS had not published an alert warning users of the tool's potential inaccuracies.

Full article:https://www.advisory.com/daily-brief.../medicare-tool
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