The Truth About Your Barber’s Medicare Drug Plan
(And Why It Shouldn’t Be Yours)
We hear it all the time from our clients. Their brother, mother, cousin, co-worker, pen pal, or barber is on a certain 18 dollar a month drug plan, and now they want on. They are really excited about it. It’s a deal, after all!
But this is actually the last thing they should do.
Why? Because drug plans aren’t one size fits all. What worked for their barber won’t necessarily work for them. And it probably won’t work for you either. With this in mind, I challenge you to push your friends, family, and acquaintances lovingly aside and consider these 3 things when shopping for a drug plan.
Drug plans only cover certain medications. And if your medications aren’t on their list, there’s a good chance it won’t be the best plan for you. There are exceptions, of course, but considering your medications is the first step in shopping a drug plan.
So raid your medicine cabinet. Which drugs are you on? What’s your dosage? Are they generic or brand name? If you answer these questions, you will have come a long way.
There’s such a thing in the world of drug plans called preferred and non-preferred pharmacies. Certain plans favor (prefer) specific pharmacies by granting you better co pays for getting your medications there. You want to save money on co pays and be able to shop at the most convenient pharmacy. So, it is your best bet to get on a drug plan that prefers the pharmacy across the street rather than across the city through rush hour traffic.
The Total Cost
The total cost includes the plan’s
- Out-of-pocket drug costs
Notice how it isn’t just the premium. It includes the premium, of course. But just because the premium is the lowest doesn’t mean the plan is the best value. In fact, considering any one of these numbers to the exclusion of the others is dangerous.
The premium may be low, but if it takes you forever to meet the deductible, it might not be the cheapest. Yes, the deductible may be tiny, but if the premium is outrageous, what’s the point? The deductible and premium may even be phenomenal, but if you are on a $250 medication that isn’t covered by the plan…well…it’s still junk.
The point is you have to do some math on your unique situation to figure out which plan is the best value.
This drug plan comparison tool on Medicare.gov does the number crunching for you. Just plug in your information and it will rank all of the 26 drug plans specific to you and based on total cost! Use the general search to avoid putting in personal information.
So What’s The Truth About Your Barber’s Drug Plan?
It is specific to him! And why shouldn’t it be yours? Because yours should be tailored specifically to you! Shopping for a drug plan this way isn’t as easy. And it certainly takes more time. But it’s worth it. It will save you many headaches, long drives, and—wait for it—cold, hard cash…cash that you can use to spoil your grandkids, travel the world, and make the most of your hard-earned retirement life.
Looking to get started researching various drug plans? You may need to know a few terms. Click here to read our post “Know the Drug Plan Lingo! 5 Terms to Get You Started”.