Medicare: Things to Consider

african american medical nurse handshaking with senior patientTo get Medicare coverage for your prescription drugs, you must choose and join a Medicare drug plan. Regardless of how a Medicare drug plan decides to offer this coverage, there are some key factors that may vary. Some of these factors might be more important to you than others, depending on your situation and drug needs. These factors are:

  • Cost
  • Coverage
  • Convenience
  • Peace of mind now and in the future


This is the monthly cost you pay to join a
Medicare drug plan. Premiums vary by plan.

This is the amount you pay for your
prescriptions before your plan starts to share in the costs. Deductibles vary by
plans. No plan may have a deductible more than $250 in 2006.

This is the amount you pay for
your prescriptions after you have paid the deductible. In some plans, you pay
the same copayment (a set amount) or coinsurance (a percentage of the cost) for
any prescription. In other plans, there might be different levels or “tiers,”
with different costs. (For example, you might have to pay less for generic drugs
than brand names. Or, some brand names might have a lower copayment than other
brand names.) Also, in some plans your share of the cost can increase when your
prescription drug costs reach a certain limit.