For existing Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in a stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) or a Medicare Advantage Plan, the Annual Election Period October 15 through December 7 is when folks can switch plans or disenroll. Because drug plans modify their formulary (list of covered drugs) and benefits every year, it’s wise to review next year’s plans.
There are dozens of PDP’s offered in California, and it can be a frustrating experience to visit each carrier’s website and enter your drug list time and time again. That’s where the invaluable Medicare.gov Planfinder tool comes in. To enter your drug list into the Planfinder visit https://www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan/questions/home.aspx. The resulting list will show which plans have the lowest expected annual out of pocket per your drug list, and other important information like the Medicare Star Rating.
If you want help reviewing your PDP options, I use a company called Ritter Insurance Marketing to help my clients figure out their Prescription Drug Plan options. There are dozens of plans, each with a unique list of covered drugs that change every year, so it’s a good idea to learn which plan is the lowest costing and best fit for your specific drug list, also taking into consideration the Star Rating assigned by Medicare.
How to use the Ritter prescription drug review program
- Assemble your Rx list with the complete name, dosage, and frequency of each drug, and the name & location of up to two preferred pharmacies. Have on hand your Medicare ID number and Part A & B effective dates..
- Contact the Ritter call center at 1-800-908-7046, and give my agent referral code# 6005.
- Hours: Monday-Friday 5:00am-1:30pm Pacific Time. (They are on east coast.) If you get voicemail leave your name and number for a callback. When you connect with a live person, write down the Ritter agent’s name, date, and time of your call.
- If you already have entered your drug list in the Medicare Planfinder, give the Ritter agent your drug list ID, password date and zip code, as that will speed things up.
- You’ll receive recommendations based on a review of the costs associated with the plans. Be sure to ask for the plan’s star rating, and if it has a nationwide pharmacy network.
- If you are ready to enroll, in most cases Ritter can take your PDP application over the phone. If your current plan is the best fit, you won’t need to re-enroll. If they don’t represent the plan that is the best fit for you, they will tell you how to enroll directly with the plan.
- Later, Ritter will follow up with you to make sure you’ve received new ID cards and answer any questions, and will reach out to you for the next annual open enrollment October 15-December 7.
• Ritter pays me $5 for each person who calls and gives my referral code.
• Ritter will not market any other product to you. They only provide business-to-business services to brokers like myself.
• Ritter earns a commission on PDP sales. Your premium for any Prescription Drug Plan is the same, regardless if you purchase it directly from the carrier, use Ritter, or any licensed broker.