Most Seniors Do Not Have the Right Part D Plan
Updated: May 22, 2019
A recent Yahoo Finance article brought to light some unfortunate issues with the Medicare Part D prescription drug program. According to the article, the vast majority of seniors are enrolled in the wrong Part D plan:
"A study conducted by Yale and MIT researchers found that a significant amount of seniors selected plans that weren’t right for them. According to the study, only 11% of patients chose the best plan in 2006; by 2009 that number had shrunk to 2%."
Seniors enrolling in the right plan at a rate of 2% is disturbing considering enrolling in the wrong plan, on average, costs seniors $373 per year.
Why Are Seniors Enrolled in the Wrong Part D Plan?
The are a few reasons seniors often find themselves in plans that aren't right for them. The Yahoo Finance article focuses on the National Council on Aging's report on Medicare Plan Finder website. According to the NCA, the Medicare website is confusing and "can contribute to many making poor plan selections."
In our experience, there are two additional major factors that lead to enrollment in the wrong Medicare Part D plan: (1) failure to review Part D plans annually and (2) initially enrolling in the wrong plan based on advice from a captive agent.
We cannot stress enough the importance of reviewing your Part D plan each year during Medicare's Annual Election Period (October 15 through December 7). Unfortunately, the plan the worked best in one year, might not be the best plan in the following year. While it might be a pain to review your plan on your own each year, our consultants are happy to conduct a free Medicare Part D review for you each year during the Annual Election Period. We can take care of the review, switch you to a better plan (if appropriate), and cancel your old plan, usually with only about ten minutes of your time.
Having your Part D plan reviewed each year also highlights the importance of a non-biased review. If an agent only works with one or a handful of Part D insurance carriers, you might be missing out on the right plan for you. If you decide to have an agent review your Part D plan for you, make sure they are an independent agent and that you're getting a non-biased review of your options, not just a list of their carriers.