Using Medicare's Drug Plan Finder
Important note: If this all seems to much for you, you can call Medicare and ask them to do it for you. Dial 800.633.4227.
To find a drug plan that works best for you, visit the official Medicare web site at https://www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan/questions/home.aspx. Once there, enter your zip code in the text box under “General Search.”
Then click on the brown button that reads, “Find Plans.”
In the next screen, click the radio buttons that apply to you; then click on “Continue to Plan Results.”
This brings you to the “Enter Your Drugs” screen. Here you enter your prescriptions one at a time. Enter the drug name; it should attempt to autofill; then select the dosage, the number of doses per order and whether it’s 30 days or 90 days, etc.; plus whether you prefer to pick up at your pharmacy or mail order. Click “Add Drug and Dosage.”
When you’ve entered all of your prescriptions, hit the brown “My Drug List Is Complete” button at the bottom of the page.
Special Note: Once you begin entering your prescriptions, Medicare will generate a unique Drug List ID#. It will appear to the right of the text box where you enter your prescriptions. Write down that number and save it; also save the “Password Date,” as you will need both if you wish to retrieve, alter, or review your drug list and search results later. Do this after you enter your first prescription. (If there is a power outage or loss of internet access while you’re working, you will not have to re-enter your work; simply retrieve your work with the ID# and password date.)
The next screen allows you to select a local pharmacy. Choose one and click on the “Add Pharmacy” button below your chosen store. On the next screen, click on “Continue to Plan Results.”
Under “Summary of Your Search Results,” click the radio button beside “Prescription Drug Plans (with Original Medicare)” or choose one of the other options if you wish to look at Medicare Advantage Plans too. Then click on “Continue to Plan Results.”
There you should see several plans listed. In choosing a drug plan for myself, I used the drop down option to sort according to “Lowest Estimated Annual Mail Order Drug Costs.”
Each summary shows a monthly premium; a mail order cost; and an annual cost. For myself, I chose the one with the lowest annual cost.
There you should see several plans listed. Use the drop down option to sort according to “Lowest Estimated Annual Mail Order Drug Costs” or to whichever sorting method you prefer. Then click on the brown “Compare Plans” button to sort.
Each summary shows a monthly premium; a mail order cost; and an annual cost.
To learn more about a plan, click on the bold header for that plan. This brings up more details. You may enroll by clicking on the “Enroll” button. Or you may call the number listed to enroll over the phone. If you choose a UnitedHealthcare plan, I hope, of course, that you’ll allow me to take the application in person. (It’s how I make my living.)