Web Site Helps Medicare Drug Plan Enrollees Save Drug Costs

A new Web site is trying to help seniors with the Medicare prescription drug "doughnut hole." With Medicare Part D, enrollees usually pay 25 percent of drug costs up until costs reach $2,400 a year. They are then required to pay 100 percent of drug costs until spending reaches $5,451.25, the other end of the doughnut hole. The Part D Optimizer is a drug cost comparison tool to help Part D enrollees find the best prices for drugs. With lower drug costs, enrollees will take longer to reach the coverage gap (or maybe avoid it altogether) and get the most for their money while they are in the gap.

Even if you have a plan that currently offers coverage during the "doughnut hole," you may still find that you need to compare costs at some point. Some companies are finding it difficult to continue coverage and are pulling out. According to an article in the Dallas Morning News, a major insurer in Texas '“ one of the only that offered coverage of brand name drugs during the coverage gap -- is losing money on the drug plan and is discontinuing coverage. It is the second insurer to do so since the drug plan began.

According to Rxaminer, which runs the drug comparison Web site, Medicare recipients can save money by switching to generics, using brand name drugs that are preferred by the recipient's plan, or taking a shorter-acting drug more frequently.

To use the site, visitors enter their zip code, select their plan, and enter the name of a drug they are currently taking. A registration form is filled out to ensure privacy. Once the form is completed, users will receive a copy of their prescription price report, which they can print out to review with their doctor.

To access the Part D Optimizer, click here.

To read the article in the Dallas Morning News, click here.