Last Updated on
October 6, 2016
Searching for Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans in Maryland? Let PlanPrescriber be your resource for Maryland Medicare Part D information and plan comparisons.
Medicare Part D, or stand-alone Medicare prescription drug coverage, can help cover the gap between your prescription drug needs and Original Medicare. In the state of Maryland, Medicare beneficiaries may receive Medicare prescription drug coverage through different options, including enrollment in a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan. Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans are private insurance plans contracted with Medicare to offer Medicare prescription drug benefits to Medicare beneficiaries – in Maryland and elsewhere in the United States.
Maryland Medicare beneficiaries can sign up for a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan to go alongside their Original Medicare coverage, Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan, or their Medicare Advantage plan if it offers only health coverage and not combined health and Medicare prescription drug coverage. To be eligible to enroll in a Part D Prescription Drug Plan typically you must have Medicare Part A and/or Part B and live in the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan’s service area.
Stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans are designed to work alongside Original Medicare coverage or coverage provided by a Medicare Advantage plan that does not include prescription drug coverage.
Each Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan has its own list of covered prescription drugs, called a formulary. Many Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans divide the prescription drugs in their formulary into different coverage categories called tiers. Your out-of-pocket cost (often described as set copayment or coinsurance) is assigned to all the drugs grouped within a tier. Each tier may have a different copayment or coinsurance amount. Often the lower tiers include the more affordable prescriptions drugs, while the higher tiers include more expensive medications. The formulary may change at any time. You will receive notice from your plan when necessary.
You probably will want to compare Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans available where you live in Maryland because the availability and cost of a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan may vary.
Each Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan can decide which prescription drugs to cover and establish benefit tiers under which to group covered medications. This means the cost to one Maryland Medicare beneficiary for prescription drugs under one Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan may be higher or lower than the cost to another individual who also lives in Maryland, takes the same medications, but is enrolled in a different Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan. Therefore, it’s important to consider your individual prescription drug needs when selecting a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan: check to see if your medications are on the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan’s formulary and if so, under what tier, if any, are they covered.
If you are currently enrolled in a Part D Prescription Drug Plan be sure to carefully review your plan’s Annual Notice of Change and Evidence of Coverage in the fall of every year to be aware of any changes to your coverage. Plans can change their premiums, copayments, deductibles, and drug formularies every year. Make sure you understand whether your current plan is best suited to your health and budget needs in the coming year or change, if possible, to one that can better serve your ongoing prescription drug coverage needs.
To start comparing Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans in Maryland today, enter your zip code in the eHealth plan finder on this page for a customized list of plans available in your area. You can also enter in the medications you take to further tailor your plan listings and estimated costs.
Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage usually has a fixed monthly cost, the premium, which you pay to the Part D Prescription Drug Plan. In exchange for the premium you pay each month, your insurer will take on a larger share of your covered prescription drug costs. Depending upon your income, you may qualify for “extra help” to offset some or all of your premium cost. If you don’t qualify for cost assistance, your Part D costs are based on which plan you choose.
Remember you must continue to pay your Part B premium also. You may also have to pay a separate premium to the insurer of a Medicare Supplement plan or Medicare Advantage plan if you choose to combine a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan with a Medicare Supplement plan or a Medicare Advantage plan that does not include Medicare prescription drug coverage.
If you choose to enroll in a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, usually you must pay a monthly premium, all of your prescription drug costs over a certain yearly amount and up to a ceiling amount, as well as any annual deductible and copayments your Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plan has. You may be able to reduce these costs if you qualify for a low-income subsidy, also called “Extra Help”. To learn more about whether you qualify for “Extra Help”, visit the Maryland Department of Aging.
For Maryland residents who need help paying for their medications, the Maryland Medbank Program is another resource. A charitable organization, the Maryland Medbank offers assistance with prescription drug costs to chronically ill and low-income residents of Maryland. This program helps eligible individuals apply for financial assistance to many pharmaceutical manufacturers, who may then provide medicines for free or at discounted prices. To be eligible, Maryland residents must not be enrolled in any prescription drug programs, must be above the monthly poverty income guidelines, and must be below monthly income guidelines set by the individual drug companies. Some programs require a Maryland resident to be enrolled in the Medicare program while others only require a physician’s signature.