An Independent Medicare Health Insurance Agency

Prescription Drug Plans

Medicare Part D helps pays for retail prescriptions, usually at your local pharmacy or via mail-order.

Part D is used in two ways:

  1. Embedded into certain Medicare Advantage plans (MAPD plans).
  2. Offered as a stand-alone prescription drug insurance policy, used in conjunction with Original Medicare A and B medical coverage and oftentimes alongside a Medicare Supplement plan. Also commonly referred to as a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plan, or a PDP.

Part D does not cover medical procedures—it only covers prescription drugs. These are only sold by insurance companies.

Medicare Part D Step Therapy

Medicare insurance companies may require you to try a less expensive drug than the one prescribed by your doctor. For instance, let’s say you were prescribed a made-up drug, LakeDrug. LakeDrug helps lower cholesterol, but it’s brand new and costs $500. Let’s also say there are plenty of cholesterol-lowering medications on the market that are cheaper alternative medications that do the same thing as LakeDrug.

Medicare rules say that the company must first give you a limited supply of LakeDrug because that’s what your doctor prescribed. However, the company will have a problem with that because there are plenty of cheaper alternative medications out there that will do the same thing for less money. So, the insurance company will make you, or attempt to make you, switch to a less expensive drug that’s been shown to be effective in lowering cholesterol. If that doesn’t work, they’ll try and make you take another drug, slightly more expensive than the first alternative but still cheaper than LakeDrug. If that doesn’t work, then you can get LakeDrug.
To get LakeDrug without all of this hassle, your prescribing doctor will have to file what’s called an Exception. This is just what it sounds like; the doctor will have to ask the Medicare insurance company to make an exception to their Step Therapy rules to get them to cover LakeDrug.

Medicare Part D Quantity Limits

Simply put, Medicare insurance companies place limits on the number of certain medications you can buy at one time. This is to protect against abuse and waste. There are also exceptions your doctor or health provider can ask for if you bump up against these and have good reasons for not being subject to them.

Related Services: Medicare Dental Plans, Medicare Supplement, Medicare Agents Near Me, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B, Medicare Broker

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