Medicare Beneficiaries Make Expensive Mistakes When Selecting Part D Plans

A new study by eHealth, Inc. comprising an analysis of over 22,000 people who used the online Medicare plan comparison tools at eHealthMedicare.com and PlanPrescriber.com during Medicare’s 2014 Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) found that only 5 percent of people on Medicare were in the Medicare plan that provided the lowest total out-of-pocket costs for their prescription drugs. The study also found that, among the same users, 42 percent of people on Medicare would hit the prescription drug coverage gap (Medicare’s donut hole) in 2014. But, by switching to the lowest cost plan, the number of people hitting the donut hole drops to 19 percent. eHealth’s study underscores the value of reviewing one’s stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) and Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MA-PD) coverage during the AEP. A 2010 study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that only about 10 percent of Medicare Part D plan participants change their coverage annually. This year’s AEP, when beneficiaries are free to change their Medicare coverage options, will take place between October 15, and December 7, 2014. eHealth’s analysis of Medicare prescription drug coverage was generated from over 22,000 user sessions that occurred on eHealthMedicare.com and PlanPrescriber.com during the 2014 AEP, between October 15 and December 7, 2013. Over 17,000 user sessions were used to compare stand-alone PDPs, and over 5,000 user sessions were used to compare MA-PD plans.

Source/more: CNN Money

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