Things to Consider When Choosing a Prescription Drug Insurance Plan

By Compuquotes Team on March 23rd, 2009

Health Insurance

The cost of prescription drugs can take a huge bite out of your monthly budget, especially as you grow older. Many of the common health complaints that trouble adults over forty are easily treated with a regular regimen of prescription drugs and supplement, but those drugs can cost far more than you expect, even if your health insurance plan covers all but the co-pay for your prescriptions. Even Medicare doesn't cover most of your prescription costs, and those who depend on Medicare are faced with choosing a prescription drug plan to help meet their prescription expenses.

Choosing a prescription drug plan can seem daunting, especially if you have never had to consider the costs of your medications before. Here are some things for you to consider that will help you make heads and tails out of prescription drug plans, and choose the right one for your needs.

Four Things to Take Into Account When Deciding on Prescription Insurance
There are four basic considerations when choosing a prescription drug insurance plan. They are cost, coverage, convenience and future needs. Here's what you should know about each.

  • Cost

The cheapest premium isn't always the best indicator of the cost of a prescription drug plan. The cost is actually made up of three parts (four, if you include medications that are not covered by your insurance). Those parts are:
Premium - The monthly cost you pay to the insurance company to be a part of the prescription insurance plan.
Deductible - The amount that you have to pay for prescriptions before your insurance will kick in. If you have Medicare and are choosing a Medicare prescription supplement plan, the deductible may not be any higher than $265 in 2007.
Co-pay - The co-pay is the amount that you pay for each prescription after you've reached your deductible amount. Some prescription plans feature a flat-rate co-pay that is the same for any prescription, while others have a tiered plan - you'll pay more for name brand drugs, for instance, or for more expensive prescriptions.

  • Coverage

Will the prescription drug insurance plan that you choose cover the drugs that you need? If you're on Medicare, you can check the Medicare formulary to find out if the drugs that you are taking are covered by Medicare. The Medicare formulary is specifically designed to cover drugs that are most commonly prescribed for various conditions, and must include at least two drugs in all categories and classes used by people on Medicare. Many prescription drug plans use the formulary as a check for the prescription drugs that they will cover. Check individual policies to find out which drugs are covered under each.

  • Convenience

The cheapest prescription drug policy in the world is of no use to you if you have to travel three hours to fill a prescription. Before deciding on a prescription drug insurance policy, check with local pharmacies to find out if they accept that insurance. Some prescription drug programs have mail order programs that will deliver your prescription medications directly to your door for the ultimate convenience.

  • Future Peace of Mind

While you may not need prescription drug coverage right now, the odds are that you will eventually. Joining a prescription drug plan before you need it will ensure that the prescriptions you need in the future are covered.

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