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Here is What Medicare Part D costs and cover in 2019 – The Motley Fool

Medicare plays an important role for older Americans in managing their healthcare costs. But the program has grown over time. Originally included traditional Medicare Parts A and B for hospitals and medical coverage. But recently, Part C Medicare Advantage coverage has become available as an alternative, and during the 2000s, Part D prescription drug tires became available. It's easy to get confused with all of Medicare's parts. But it's important to know what each part of Medicare offers. Not all Medicare participants use Part D coverage, but those who do can benefit from knowing the costs and benefits involved. Image source: Getty Pictures. The Basics of Medicare Part D Coverage Unlike regular Medicare, Part D comes coverage from private insurance companies. Therefore, it is impossible to provide a certain set of costs that go with Part D, since each plan may be different. Particularly, part D plans can cover different types of drugs, and many plans specify categories of drugs that divide prescriptions into different groups. A group of drugs may have higher costs for planning participants than others. For example, it is common for Part D to offer incentives for those who accept generic brand name equivalents. A good thing with part D plans is that they cannot change their coverage in the middle of a year if there is no unusual situation. This means that you can normally plan for the full year. But since plan changes can happen from year to year, you need to pay attention…

Medicare plays an important role for older Americans in managing their healthcare costs. But the program has grown over time. Originally included traditional Medicare Parts A and B for hospitals and medical coverage. But recently, Part C Medicare Advantage coverage has become available as an alternative, and during the 2000s, Part D prescription drug tires became available.

It’s easy to get confused with all of Medicare’s parts. But it’s important to know what each part of Medicare offers. Not all Medicare participants use Part D coverage, but those who do can benefit from knowing the costs and benefits involved.

Image source: Getty Pictures.

The Basics of Medicare Part D Coverage

Unlike regular Medicare, Part D comes coverage from private insurance companies. Therefore, it is impossible to provide a certain set of costs that go with Part D, since each plan may be different. Particularly, part D plans can cover different types of drugs, and many plans specify categories of drugs that divide prescriptions into different groups. A group of drugs may have higher costs for planning participants than others. For example, it is common for Part D to offer incentives for those who accept generic brand name equivalents.

A good thing with part D plans is that they cannot change their coverage in the middle of a year if there is no unusual situation. This means that you can normally plan for the full year. But since plan changes can happen from year to year, you need to pay attention to any changes in the plan you have chosen to see if you need to find a replacement for the following year.

Costs for Medicare Part D

The cost of various Medicare Part D plans varies greatly. Some will not receive monthly premiums, but you usually only get limited drug coverage with such plans. Other plans have monthly premiums, but you get broader drug protection. Again, the fact that private insurance companies offer part D plans offers much flexibility in designing plans that can cater to certain customer groups.

For high income taxpayers who choose part D plans, there may be an additional fee to the normal monthly premium amount. The following table shows the amount of these supplements.

For Individuals With This Income:

Or Common Files With This Income:

Part D Premium Supplement In 2019 is:

$ 85,000 to $ 107,000

$ 170,000 to $ 214,000

$ 170,000 to $ 214,000

$ 12.40

$ 107,000 to $ 133,500

$ 214,000 to $ 267,000

$ 31.90

$ 133,500 to $ 160,000

$ 267,000 to $ 320,000

$ 51.40

$ 160,000 to $ 500,000

$ 320,000 to $ 750,000

$ 70.90

Over $ 500,000

Over $ 750,000

$ 77.40

Data Source: Medicare. Note Marriages who submit separately, who lived together at any time during the year, pay a surcharge of $ 70,90 if their income is $ 85,000 to $ 415,000 or $ 77,40 if their income is over $ 415,000.

From a cost perspective, in addition to premiums, you may also need to pay:

  • An annual deductible that you must pay before the coverage kicks in. The maximum deductible for 2019 is $ 415, but a plan may deposit a small deductible if it wants.
  • You also have to pay copays or coinsurance amounts when buying prescription drugs. A copay is usually a fixed dollar amount, while co-insurance is a percentage of the total cost.

Also, remember that there is an out-of-pocket max that part D plans may force the participants to pay. Disastrous coverage rules kick in at $ 5,100, and over that amount, you only pay 5% of the additional costs.

Be Smart About Prescription Drug Tires

Drugs can be costly and although relatively new, Medicare Part D has become necessary for many elderly Americans. Understand the choices you have with Part D coverage and get the plan that best suits your particular prescription needs.

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