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Medicare Part D Costs Jump

Medicare Part D is not only costing the taxpayers big money, but it is also costing the insurance policy holders much more than expected.   Seniors are still trying to figure out Medicare Part D and many of them made the mistake of thinking their work was done after enrolling in a Medicare Part D plan when it was first launched.

Because the plans change from one year to the next, it is imperative that seniors shop their Medicare Part D plans every open enrollment period, which runs from November 15th through December 31st.   Why?  Well plan rates may increase and if ones prescriptions changed over the year then the plan that served them well previously may no longer be a good value.

Does it pay to shop?  One 77 year old woman’s Medicare Part D plan rates increased 60% in just one year.  Wow!  That is an unbelievable rate increase!  How could that happen?  In that particular case the insurance carrier initially guessed wrong at the plan costs and had to raise their rates accordingly.   Humana’s cheapest Part D plan in Colorado increased from $8.62 per month in 2006 to $40.90 per month this year. AARP’s basic plan started in 2007 at $19.20 per month and is now $33.

While it is a hassle to shop these plans every Fall, it is worth while!   Seniors can use the Medicare.gov web site’s Medicare Part D “Plan Finder” tool to make sure they find the best deal.   If they prefer to do it over the phone they can do so by calling: 1-800-MEDICARE.

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