Four Rules For Healthcare Planning: Selecting The Right Medicare Part D Plan

Financial considerations for Medicare

Updated on: June 7, 2018

Originally posted on: October 6, 2014
The Roadmap for Medicare staff specialize in all topics related to Medicare Part D, choosing a Medicare plan, and making smart health decisions in retirement.

Planning for a secure retirement means avoiding unexpected costs. A sound retirement plan includes selecting the right Medicare Part D prescription drug plan (PDP) to meet your health and financial needs today and tomorrow.

Many Medicare beneficiaries overlook important considerations when choosing Medicare coverage, and this can have a significant impact on your retirement funds.

Consider these four rules for selecting a plan that can protect your nest egg:

  1. Always budget for medication expenses: It’s not easy to forecast medication expenses since your future health is unknown. But you can make some educated guesses based on your current health and family history.
  2. Remember price increases: Seniors often overlook the impact of price increases in their retirement planning. If you use prescription medications, keep in mind that their prices can rise significantly. In fact, prescription drug costs rise at almost double the rate of prices on other consumer items.
  3. Analyze the total cost of a plan: Don’t forget to include all of a plan’s expenses, including premiums, deductible, copayments and/or coinsurance for the medications you take now and what you think you will be taking in the future. These costs can change from year-to-year.
  4. Look for savings opportunities: Choose a plan that offers multiple ways for you to reduce your prescription drug costs, such as low-cost generic drugs and using a mail-service pharmacy with convenient home delivery. Also, within their broad national pharmacy network, some plans offer certain pharmacies with lower copayments or “preferred” pricing.

The right Medicare Part D plan depends on how well the coverage fits your medical needs and budget. Too often people find themselves with the wrong plan because they don’t actively shop for the right policy, or fail to anticipate their needs in the future. Simple rules that are easy to overlook can make a huge difference to your health.

It’s easy to compare Part D drug plans online. Simply visit Medicare’s website at to get a list of plans available in your area.