Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plans: Do You Need One?

Today, we’re going to talk about Medicare Advantage Plans, specifically Part D or Prescription Drug Coverage. What does it have to do with Medicare Advantage Plans or with Medicare?

When you’re talking about Medicare Advantage Plans, you’ll often encounter the acronym MAPD, which is the common way to refer to prescription drug coverage. It stands for Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans. Those are Medicare HMO plans that include all your medical coverage for your doctor visits and hospitalization, but also include Part D, Prescription Drug Coverage.

One of the distinct advantages of using Part D coverage on a Medicare Advantage Plan is that those plans typically are being issued now with a zero-deductible. Under traditional Medicare, if you would have your coverage with a regular Medicare supplement and a stand alone prescription drug plan—I’m not saying one is better or worse—I’m saying if it’s a separate Part D plan, you’ll pay a premium for it on average of $10 to $15 a month. But typically, those are issued with a $500 deductible, and this year, for 2024, it is going to be increased.

The Advantage of the Medicare Advantage Plans


The Prescription Drug Coverage, called Part D, on Medicare Advantage Plans comes with a distinct advantage. There are zero-deductible options and those deductibles come into play. They are applicable in situations like these:

  • Brand name drug
  • More expensive drugs such as an inhaler
  • Some diabetic medications
  • Some organ rejection medications
  • Other more expensive prescriptions

The advantage of going with a Medicare Advantage Plan, one component of that, is this extra Prescription Drug Coverage. The Medicare Advantage option does provide an enhanced level of Prescription Drug Coverage that, for some persons, can be very distinct. It provides an extra benefit of coverage that makes it a little more beneficial.

Your 2023 Open Enrollment Period


Here we are in late 2023. We’re about to embark on another open enrollment period. These things change every January 1st. I would recommend that consumers recalculate their prescription drug costs for the next year—not so much within 2023, but what’s projected for next year. Then see which plan option would be an advantage for you. 

You might choose either a standalone Part D Prescription Drug Plan, or choose to be part of a Medicare Advantage plan. If you need help with a review of your current plan or changing to a new plan, call us at  (314) 544-5400.

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