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Prescription drugs aren’t getting any cheaper. If you’re an older adult taking any medications, you know just how true that statement is. If you’re looking for a way to reduce your medication costs, a Medicare Part D plan might suit your needs, as it offers prescription drug coverage not covered under Original Medicare. With so many providers on the market to choose from, we’ve narrowed down our list to the top four Medicare Part D providers:

How We Chose the Best Medicare Part D Providers

Picking the right Medicare Part D plan, also called a prescription drug plan (PDP), may seem overwhelming, with so many plans to choose from. Our mission is to provide you with the right information so you can make the best decision based on your needs. We looked at leading providers across the nation while comparing prices, plan availability, ease of website navigation, overall customer satisfaction, and perks for being a customer. See which providers made our list!

How to Choose a Medicare Part D Plan

When you’re choosing your Medicare Part D provider, it is important to keep the following in mind:

  • The provider’s drug formulary compared to your current medications
  • Your need for a large network of pharmacies if you travel frequently
  • Whether you qualify for Medicare Savings Programs
  • Price in premiums compared to deductibles and copays

Pro Tip: Check out SHIP, a state health insurance assistance program that offers free, unbiased, one-on-one, and local Medicare plan counseling.

As you research prescription drug coverage, you might be debating between a PDP and a Medicare Advantage plan. Here are a few instances where it may be best to choose a Medicare Part D plan:

  • You don’t have other drug coverage.
  • You are in the Medicare enrollment window.
  • Original Medicare and Medicare Part D are cheaper for you than other coverage options.

How Much Do Medicare Part D Plans Cost?

Medicare Part D plans vary in costs depending on location and plan. Most Medicare Part D providers give you three plans to choose from, ranging from basic to premium coverage, which can be deducted from your Social Security check for added convenience.

The average base beneficiary premium is $33.06,1 and you may pay extra based on your income. The good news is that the annual deductible will not exceed $445. The bad news is that there is a coverage gap, often referred to as the “donut hole.” You enter the coverage gap when you and your Medicare Part D provider have collectively spent $4,130 in 2021. You will then be responsible for 25 percent of prescription costs until you reach an out-of-pocket maximum of $6,550 and enter what’s called catastrophic coverage. Once you are in this coverage, you will pay only a small percentage of the cost of your medications. This won’t apply to all older adults, especially those on fewer or more affordable medications, but it’s still important to note.

When to Enroll in a Medicare Part D Plan

It’s best to start shopping early. You may enroll up to three months before your 65th birthday, and you have until three months after. Remember to check your provider’s drug formulary every year to compare it with competitors and your current medications, as formularies can change. You can always change your Medicare Part D provider during open enrollment, which is from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 every year. You also will have 63 days after moving to enroll in a different plan based on your location.

Written By

Jeff Hoyt

Editor in Chief

Since graduating from Harvard with an honors degree in Statistics, Jeff has been creating content in print, online, and on television. Much of his work has been dedicated to informing seniors on how to live better lives. As Editor-in-Chief of the personal… Learn More About Jeff Hoyt