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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:
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!
Cigna is one of our best options for Medicare Part D providers because of their pricing, plan coverage, and availability. You can choose from three Part D plans, ranging in monthly premium prices and deductible costs. All three plans offer a zero-dollar copay for Tier 1 preferred generic medications when you choose mail order from a pharmacy with preferred cost-sharing. That adds up to significant savings in money and time! Cigna also earns points for extras, such as ease of website navigation and added customer perks.
We feel Aetna may be a great option for your Medicare Part D provider if you are on a fixed income or looking for an extensive pharmacy selection because you travel frequently. It may also be a great choice if you currently take little to no medication but are looking for an affordable PDP so you won’t pay the late enrollment penalty down the line. That’s smart thinking!
FYI: Aetna’s SilverScript SmartRx PDP is one of the lowest-priced plans available in the nation.
Humana is a solid Medicare Part D option for the low overall cost, membership perks, and nationwide availability. If you travel often, take preferred generics, or enjoy mobile fitness apps, their plans are worth considering. You may also qualify for a one-on-one, comprehensive review of the medications you take with a specialist through Humana’s Medication Therapy Management Program. This just goes to show that Humana cares about their customers’ well-being.
If you are an older adult looking for a Medicare Part D provider, you may consider AARP prescription drug plans from UnitedHealthcare. Although the AARP MedicareRx Preferred PDP may have higher monthly premiums, it also has a $0 deductible across all drug tiers, which is worth the price in our book.
When you’re choosing your Medicare Part D provider, it is important to keep the following in mind:
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:
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.
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.
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
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2020). Annual Release of Part D National Average Bid Amount and Other Part C & D Bid Information.