Understanding Medicare Part D


The Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D) is a voluntary program that officially started January 1st, 2006 and offers some assistance to U.S. seniors that incur personal expense for their prescription medications. Multiple plans are available through private insurers and participants need to carefully select the plan that best suits their individual needs. Although premiums may vary, the average monthly premium for a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan in 2018 is estimated at around $60, higher then 2017, a $ 405 deductible and a 25% co-pay on the first $3,750 of drugs purchased annually ($3,310 in 2016). Therefore the cost of participation will generally exceed $1927 per year with a large gap in coverage between $3,750 and $5,218 (the "donut hole") where patients must pay for 35% of their Brand medication cost and 44% of their Generic medication cost.

The largest basic plan, SilverScript Choice, will charge an average of $22.56 per month next year. Humana Walmart RX will charge $18.49 per month. Most enhanced plans offer some coverage in the so-called donut hole, but also come with higher premiums. For example, AARP MedicareRX Preferred, which is the largest of the top 10 plans, will see its average premium jump 21 percent next year to $60.79, according to Avalere.

In other words, before the 95% catastrophic coverage can begin a patient would pay $4,346 plus monthly premium, about $4,850 out of pocket each year. As such, it is important for U.S. seniors to carefully analyze their specific prescription needs and assess the benefit before enrolling in the program. In some cases it may be more attractive to order medications from ADV-Care instead. It may also be prudent to enrol in a Medicare Part D plan and order some drugs from us as well. There may be circumstances whereby specific drugs may not be covered under this plan or when coverage is absent (i.e. the donut hole) thus making it attractive to order them from Canada where savings average about 50%. Although, Canadian purchases will not count toward the patient Medicare account they may be an ideal safety-net for the gaps in Medicare coverage. Taking advantage of both programs may be a wise choice.

ADV-Care Pharmacy is pleased to assist our customer with a case analysis of their prescription requirements. As a first step, we will use the Medicare Benefit calculator that will analyze Medicare costs vs. our cost and their relative savings. Just input the amount of our customer expect to pay for their medications in U.S. retail dollars.

* Assuming 50% of the medication is Generic

Monthly Premium


Yearly amount spent on drugs:


Related links:


2018 PDP-Planner

Medicare Part D Doughnut Hole Calculator. This calculator illustrates how the doughnut hole (coverage gap) works when the beneficiary only has monthly Rx costs. And it shows that if the same monthly costs are paid on a quarterly basis, the total retail costs do not change, however, when one enters and leaves the coverage gap does changes. The calculator also shows an example of how to enter you medication costs if they are not consistent.


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