Medicare Part D was introduced to the overall Medicare program as recently as 2006. This part of Medicare covers the costs of prescription medications. It was added as a means of protecting U.S. seniors and other citizens from absorbing the rapidly increasing costs of necessary prescription drugs.
The free market allows for pharmaceutical manufacturers to charge whatever price they deem fit for their products. The costs were becoming unaffordable for the average senior and his or her household prior to the implementation of Part D. What other reasons cause prescription medications to be so expensive?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) organizes prescription medications in categories/classes based on varying factors. These factors include each drug’s potential side effects and possibility of causing dependency issues in its users. The category/class of each medication affect its price.
The free market also plays a significant role in the cost of each prescription medication for seniors. For example, Rite Aid pharmacies in California might charge more money for Nexium than they do in Florida. CVS pharmacies might charge more or less than your local mom-and-pop pharmacy as well.
Medicare Part D charges copays on top of premiums and other expenses. These expenses all vary based on numerous factors.
Part D providers are also private health insurance companies just like Medicare Part C providers. Other factors affecting the costs of Part D include the state in which you live and your income level. Medicare Part D plans also charge a late enrollment penalty when seniors do not enroll when the plan is first made eligible to them. It is important for seniors to research all options prior to enrolling in a Part D plan to make sure they are getting the best deal for them.
Part D plans now cover insulin supplies for as low as $35/thirty-day under qualifying conditions. Consult the Medicare.gov web page on insulin for more details.
Now that you know all about the various types of Medicare plans, learn how to enroll in them next.