Part D: Will your premium increase in 2014?

One Part D plan is increasing its premium from $25.90 in 2013 to $53 in 2014.  That is outrageous! The plan is First Health Part D Value, and it has been a good deal in 2013 because it has no deductible and generics can be bought at Walgreens for $0.

I am not contracted with this plan, but I recommended it to many of my Medicare supplement clients because it was a much better deal than the Part D plans I represent.  Now I’ve had to email and call all those people to tell them they need to shop for another plan during the Open Enrollment Period (October 15 – December 7).

Everyone enrolled in a Part D plan or a Medicare Advantage plan received an Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) before the end of September. Everyone needs to read through the ANOC to be sure their plan has not changed significantly.

I’ve been using the Medicare.gov Plan Finder to see what Part D plans are offered in Arizona for 2014 and I see there are 29 Part D plans on the list. The monthly premiums range from $12.60 to $122.  Most of the lower-priced plans have a $310 deductible.

I know of one plan that says the deductible does not apply to tier 1 and tier 2 generics, so that looks like a good deal. I will be telling my clients to take a look at this plan because many of them take only a couple of generics. Sorry, I can’t name names lest I be seen as promoting that plan.

I wrote a while back about a study that showed most people are in the wrong Part D plan and are paying too high a premium, or too much for their prescriptions.

I’ll bet a lot of people enrolled in that First Health Part D Value plan this year, because it almost always came up first on the Medicare.gov Plan Finder.  Being first on the list meant it was the best deal based on the prescriptions I put into the Plan Finder.

Hopefully, everyone enrolled in that plan has read the Annual Notice of Change and seen the outrageous price increase. Otherwise, they will be shocked in early 2014 when they see the $53 premium.  Unfortunately for these folks, waking up to the premium increase in January will leave them stuck in that plan for all of 2014.

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