Consider Switching Your Medicare Drug Plan If Medications Have Changed - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Consider Switching Your Medicare Drug Plan If Medications Have Changed

YAKIMA, Wash. - Harman Senior Center volunteer Irene Alber is like many seniors, she's confused by all of the Medicare prescription drug plans available.

"There was just so much information put before us." she says.  Alber signed up for Community Care last year, but now she's thinking about switching.

She chose that company based on her pharmacist's advice, and the medications she was taking at the time.  But those medications have changed, and some are now offered as generics.

"I'm mostly happy with the plan." she says.  "But I think I might be able to find something that covers a little bit more."

Alber says she did have someone figure out what her out-of-pocket expenses would be before she signed up, and she's saving about $70 a month now.

To figure your out-of-pocket expense, add: premium and deductible, then the co-pay you'd have for each prescription.  Take a look at the total, and compare it with one that includes a percentage of your prescription costs, instead of the co-pay. 

Alber pays 25% for each prescription, because she's taking mostly generics.  Local pharmacist Lee Neal says percentage is the way to go in her case.

The hard part comes in doing all of the calculations for every plan you're considering.  But when Alber found out the Medicare web site would help her narrow down her options, she was excited.  "You just have to do all the research, that's the main thing." she says.