Help Patients Navigate Medicare Part D Plan Options for 2022
This complimentary article from Pharmacy Technician's Letter is being provided to readers of Pharmacist's Letter, who may find its content relevant to their practice.
Questions will swirl around 2022 Medicare Part D changes during open enrollment...from October 15th to December 7th.
Point out what's new for 2022.
- The maximum annual deductible for Part D plans will increase by $35...to $480. And the average monthly premium will bump up to about $33 versus $31.
- But some Part D plans will now add a "preferred" tier for specialty Rxs...to help reduce patient co-pays. Before, high-cost specialty meds only had one tier...without preferred options.
- Also explain that the initial coverage limit for 2022 will be $4,430. After that, patients will pay up to 25% of drug costs until total spending reaches $7,050 for catastrophic coverage.
Guide patients through the process.
- Remember that pharmacies CANNOT recommend a plan or enroll patients...but you can help them explore and understand the choices.
- Provide a current med list...so patients can tailor their plan selection. To sort through choices, suggest resources, such as the Medicare Plan Finder website...or calling 800-MEDICARE.
- Advise looking at ALL aspects of a plan...co-pays, med or pharmacy restrictions, Star Ratings, etc. A less expensive premium may mean higher co-pays...and higher Star Ratings may mean a plan is better at providing customer service, ensuring safe med use, etc.
- Tell patients who are happy with their current plan that they don't need to do anything to re-enroll.
- Still recommend comparing plans...since the best choice for 2021 may not be the best for 2022.
- Changing plans after open enrollment is only allowed under certain circumstances...such as if a patient moves outside of their current plan's service area.
- Clarify that all patients can switch to a plan with an overall 5-star rating ONCE...from December 8th to the following Nov 30th.