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Medicare Part D covers prescription medication for people on traditional Medicare. People purchase Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage from Medicare approved insurance companies. There are different levels of prescription drug coverage; therefore, compare Medicare Part D plans before choosing one. Things to consider when you compare Medicare Part D policies include cost, coverage, and convenience.
The total policy cost includes the monthly premium, deductible amount, and copayment. Monthly premiums vary greatly by the level of coverage. The deductible is the amount of money the Medicare recipient must pay for prescription medication before the Part D policy begins paying. The government regulates Medicare deductable amounts. In 2009, Medicare Part D plans could not have a yearly deductable over $295. Copayment is the part of the drug price that the recipient must pay. Some plans have the same copayment for both name brand and generic medication and some increase the co-pay for name brand drugs.
Medicare Part D plans may have different tiers of coverage, require prior authorization, and have a coverage gap. Tiers or levels of coverage typically classify prescription drugs into different categories according to cost. Depending on which plan you choose, certain medications may not be covered. Consequently, be sure to choose the tier that pays for required prescriptions. Other plans may require prior authorization before paying for certain medications. For instance, Medicare Part D may not pay for an expensive prescription when there is a less expensive one that proves to be as effective.
Before purchasing Part D coverage, check that local pharmacies accept the policy. Many plans have mail-order services that deliver prescription medication to your residence at a reduced cost. However, if there is an emergency where medication is required immediately, it is important to have a local pharmacy that accepts payment.