When you enroll in Medicare Part D, your plan will offer ways to save additional money. Once such way is to fill your prescriptions at one of your plan’s preferred network pharmacies. Medicare plans partner with a variety of pharmacies- independent stores, chain drug stores, grocery stores and major retailers- to offer you choice and convenience when filling a prescription.
Understanding types of pharmacies
Medicare plans partner with thousands of pharmacies to offer an entire network of pharmacies. There are two types of pharmacies in a pharmacy network and it is important to understand the difference between the two, as there is a financial impact in filling your prescription at one pharmacy versus another in the network.
Preferred pharmacy: These pharmacies have agreed to charge a lower cost for your prescription. Your co-payment or “preferred cost-share” will be lower when you fill your prescription at a preferred pharmacy.
Standard pharmacy: These pharmacies participate in the network but will charge a higher co-payment.
What to consider before choosing a plan
Finding the right Medicare plan requires research and analysis. There are many questions to consider before choosing the Medicare plan that is right for you.
- Size: How many pharmacies are covered? How many are preferred? Are the pharmacies close to me?
- Variety: Is there a choice of independent or chain stores for preferred pharmacies? Is home delivery an option?
- Savings: Does the network truly offer me savings? What is the cost difference in co-payments if I use a preferred pharmacy or standard pharmacy? Does the savings validate the higher premium?
Before selecting a plan, check to see if your current pharmacy is in the plan’s network. If your pharmacy is not listed, decide if it is worth switching. If you do decide to switch to a preferred pharmacy, it is very easy to transfer your prescriptions. Simply locate the preferred pharmacy you would like to fill your medication and provide them with your prescription information and contact information of your current pharmacy. Your new pharmacy will handle the transfer for you.
Choosing the right Medicare plan to fit your needs can be overwhelming. Seniority Benefit Group can help answer any questions you may have and give you the confidence to select the plan that is right for you.
Read our article, “Understanding the Donut Hole” for more information to help you understand prescription costs under Medicare Part D.