Save money on your Medicare drug plan with simple changes. Avoid the donut hole. Turning 65? The drug plan with the lowest premium may cost you the most. Medicare Advantage may be your worst enemy if you want to save on prescription medications. Save even more by substituting OTC for prescription medications. Change your pharmacy, save big. Finding places that offer free prescription drugs. Take advantage of Medicare Extra Help. Lower your drug costs by ordering medications from Canada.
Georgia Medicare Plans is more than your best resource for low cost Medigap plans. In addition to over 170 different Medicare supplement plans in Georgia there are more than 40 different drug plans.
We show you the plans with the best value and let you decide. Shop and compare now.
Low premium drug plan may be a mistake
Sadly, too many people focus on the monthly premium and fail to look at how much the plan REALLY costs. Every year when the new drug plans are introduced there is always one carrier that tries to capture as much of the market by offering a drug plan with the lowest premium. Some years it is Humana. Others the AARP plan from United Healthcare will have the rock bottom premium.
What’s wrong with that?
Dee has the low premium drug plan from Humana, and thought it was fine. I always offer a free drug plan review to my Medigap clients but she only took a few low cost generics and felt the Humana Walmart plan was best.
This year she decided to take me up on my offer and ask for a comparison of her Humana Part D plan with the other 40+ plans available in her zip code. Dee sent me a list of her medications (exact name, dosage, number of refills, preferred pharmacy) and I entered them into the Medicare Plan Finder.
The results surprised her.
If she simply renewed her Humana drug plan for next year the annual cost of her medications would be over $3,000. Switching to a different Part D plan with a slightly higher premium drops her drug costs to $1300.
That’s a savings of $1700 per year!
For the last 3 years she has saved over $500 per year with the Medicare supplement plan I suggested vs. the plan she picked on her own. Putting $500+ per year in Dee’s pocket vs. the insurance carrier certainly helped, but how much more could she have saved over that time if she had allowed me to help?
Generics, the key to savings
It is common knowledge that generic drugs can save you money, but not everyone can tolerate the fillers in generics. But did you know that some medications you are filling by prescription are available in the same strength as your prescription brand?
Barb has been taking a prescription dose of Niacin ER for years at the insistence of her doctor. Every month for the last several years she fills the prescription and pays $109 for 30 pills. Her existing drug plan won’t cover the prescription version since there is an OTC alternative so Barb pays the regular retail price.
A little research turned up the same dosage over the counter was available from Amazon at a cost of $45 for 500 capsules. She could have been getting almost a years supply from Amazon for about the same price as she is paying for a 30 day supply from the pharmacy.
While she was grateful for my advice she was not pleased that her doctor had her overpaying $1,000 per year for the exact same medication that was available on the shelf in the vitamin section.
These are just two examples out of many. How much can you save?
Medicare Advantage, one stop shopping
Many retiree’s flock to Medicare Advantage plans for the low monthly premium and convenience of having all their medical and drug needs in one package.
The low monthly Advantage premiums certainly are attractive, but like with everything else, the true cost is in what you pay for your health care. When you buy a Medicare Advantage plan you take the drug plan that is built in. Depending on your Georgia zip code, you may have anywhere from 2 or 3 Advantage plans to over a dozen.
But in that same area you could have 30 or more drug plans.
Toby had picked out a Gold Medicare Advantage plan based on the recommendation of some friends but at the last minute decided to compare his choice with original Medicare and a Medicare supplement plan. He had already checked and found his doctors were in the Advantage network and the hospitals in his area were as well. He was quite confident that the Advantage plan would work just fine.
We discussed the merits of each plan and while he was now leaning toward a Medigap plan he wasn’t completely ready to pull the trigger. I asked for, and received, a list of his medications and ran a drug plan report for him. Even though I normally only do this for existing clients, I felt Toby needed the “big picture” to finalize his decision.
The Medigap plan I suggested had a monthly premium of $112 plus another $30 for a drug plan. Comparing to his $40 Advantage plan that included prescription medications made him want to stay with his original choice and forgo the supplement plan.
But when I showed him the difference in his drug costs with a stand alone drug plan vs. the one built into his Advantage plan, going with original Medicare, a supplement plan and separate drug plan became the obvious choice.
His annual drug costs with the Advantage plan were almost $6,000 per year MORE than the stand alone Part D!
Too often retirees only look to see if their doctor is in network and fail to calculate the cost of prescription drugs.
Additional money saving tips
We have several ways to help you save money on your prescription drug needs. Combining a low cost Medicare supplement plan with the RIGHT drug plan is just one way.
Look for places that offer free and low cost prescription drugs. Your Publix pharmacy has a FREE medication list. Combining drugs from a reputable Canadian pharmacy with free prescription drugs can keep you out of the donut hole.
The key to saving money involves knowing where to look and how to understand your Medicare plan finder report.
Vera saved $550 per year. Bill will save over $1200. Sam saves over $900 every year.
I can’t guarantee you will save $300 to $1400 per year or more by switching drug plans any more than I can promise savings of $500+ by using one of our preferred Medigap plans over the one you have now.
The only way to know how much you can save, or could have saved, is to start with a free, no obligation Medigap quote. Compare plans side by side and see for yourself. We do have access to over 170 different Medicare supplement plans and can show you rates you won’t see anywhere else.
Then let us run a drug plan comparison.
This costs you nothing but a few minutes of your time, about 15 minutes on the phone to get a better idea of what YOU want, and then we email your report(s). Another 15 minute phone call after that and you can find out how much you can save with a better Medigap plan and drug plan.